After spending a few years implementing digital solutions at my local acute trust, I moved to NHS Digital in January 2018. I was assigned as a Clinical Lead to the Global Digital Exemplar Programme (GDE).
GDEs are NHS providers that use world-class digital technologies and information to improve quality of care. It really felt like a privilege to have the opportunity to visit digitally mature trusts, to find out about the progress they are making, and the difference digital ways of working are making to patients and staff.
One of the key expectations of the exemplar trusts – and their followers – is to share their learning. There are several ways they do this, but the repository of blueprints written by the GDE’s and their fast followers is a great place to find information and points of contact for less digitally mature trusts. The blueprints are hosted on the NHS Futures platform and provide a wealth of information relating to digital transformation.
I think it is important to recognise that only a handful of trusts are digital exemplars and therefore there are still many that will find digital transformation a significant hurdle. Challenges include finances, resources and a lack of digital skills.
Some trusts do not have digital leaders such as Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO) or Chief Nurse Information Officers (CNIO) in post; others may have them but not always in a senior enough position within the organisation to steer the digital strategy.