John Mitchell, a speaker on the Integrated Care Stage at next year’s Rewired, tells Digital Health News he has high hopes for the Federated Data Platform

Pioneering teams who are making integrated care a reality will be at Rewired in Birmingham, explaining how to make progress in key areas such as digital inclusion and digital maturity. They will also be sharing their thoughts on the risks to progress presented by deep cuts to operational budgets.

For John Mitchell, associate director of digital at NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB, the difficult financial climate is the biggest challenge facing integration, and a compelling reason to set clearly defined priorities. He’ll be on the integration stage at Rewired for a session on digital priorities and progress for ICSs and ICBs.

Other highlights include an inside track on population health in action, and a session on connecting the three Summary Health and Care Records across Oxford, Thames Valley and London, with Bishoy Dimitri from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Peter Skinner, from the NHS Transformation Directorate, NHS England.

The debate on next steps on digital maturity will be an opportunity to learn how maturity models are being evolved to be more useful for local organisations. On the stage for this key debate will be Natalie Sutcliffe and Will Goodwin from NHSE, and Manchester CNIO Jacqui Cooper.

Looking forward to Rewired24, and the year ahead, Digital Health News asked Mitchell for his take on the big issues in integration.

Digital Health: Shared care records are the subject of innovative projects around the country, including collaborations between ICSs. Are they the main focus of digital investment in integrated care?

John Mitchell: Clearly shared care records are a very important and critical aspect of future enablement work, and convergence around data sets are key for future care delivery. Successful delivery is dependent on broader involvement then just digital teams.

However, it’s important to note, that there are other areas of interest which also grab the attention, particularly those around new models of care, for example moving secondary care services out into the community, and improved community based diagnostic centres. We can’t forget the importance of improved public health management and AI tools as well, which will really support rapidly improving targeted care.

We work in a vibrant space, so we need to ensure that our collective focus isn’t in just one place.

The FDP contract has now been awarded. Where do you see its most significant role being in integrated care systems? Do you expect all ICSs to make full use of the platform?

Putting aside the political debate, if the original vision for the FDP holds up then ICSs will want to use it.

If the vast number of system partner reports that are currently run manually move to a pull-on-demand system for transmission, then this will create capacity for a talented cohort of staff to really focus on innovation and intelligence.

If it generates system wide integrated management views of real time data, for example a system wide view of bed capacity and demand, then the FDP will be key in the transition to smart systems and enhanced SCCs.

A standard and universal solution to data would seem to be good ambition.

What are the main challenges facing ICSs in the next year?

The biggest challenge facing systems will be the finance challenge; it’s there – there’s no point trying to hide from it. ICSs can really support system partners by ensuring that a clear set of well-defined and agreed priorities are in place.

As a speaker at Rewired 2024, what are you most looking forward to about the event?

I’m looking forward to seeing the levels of system change through interesting talks and fascinating debate. The networking is always good as well!

Rewired is at the Birmingham NEC, March 12-13. Find out more about the Integrated Care Stage, explore the programme, and register here.