Building integrated care board and trust board understanding of the digital agenda

For boards leading digital transformation in health and social care in England, governance is key. Ensuring that digital becomes a “board-owned priority” and that the main internal and external stakeholder groups (including patients and service users, as well as staff, professional advisers and IT consultants) are consulted and involved will help to ensure that the new technology, and any organisational change that it supports, gain good traction, and support better outcomes and experience for patients/ service users, staff and system partners.

Earlier this month, NHS Providers in partnership with Public Digital launched a summary guide: Effectively embedding digital in your trust for NHS boards leading on digital projects, ranging from routine software or SaaS purchase and implementation through to ambitious digital transformation.  This guide is the seventh in the series of guides produced as part of the Digital Boards programme.

The summary guide covers insights from NHS board leaders on six issues:

  • Digital leadership – understanding the role of the board
  • Building and enabling digital teams
  • Creating an effective digital strategy
  • Making technology decisions
  • Digital delivery
  • Optimising your Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system

But what are the lessons NHS Digital and NHS Providers have identified? Director of Public Digital, Cate McLaurin in her blog outlines the 10 key learnings for embedding digital in hospital trusts, but it equally applies to care providers (residential and domiciliary care) and the voluntary sector. It is full of sensible and battle-hardened wisdom about how to run IT and IT projects. 

It covers a range of issues, including:

  • Visible collective responsibility for digital at board level
  • Building confidence and capability in digital among board leaders
  • Having an EPR and other applications in place is the start, not the end of the journey
  • Services designed to meet the needs of users
  • Digital is the lever for achieving alignment and collaboration

If you are working on digital procurement, contracting, implementation, transformation or management in your organisation and would like support with making technology decisions or refining your EPR or other systems, do get in touch.  We have worked on many IT and digital procurements, contracts and projects so are familiar with the issues covered by the report.

Care providers also need to be aware of funding opportunities for digital projects, such as the Adult Social Care Technology Fund. You can read our blog here to find out more information on that fund.

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