We recognise the tremendous benefits digital technology can bring when implemented well. Often the barriers to good implementation are around processes which do not work for the people involved. Therefore, we must balance processes, people, and the technology for the best possible outcomes for local people.
As a region, we continue to make improvements through strong collaborative working. We continue to develop digitally enabled heath and care services around the needs of our patients, public and our health and care practitioners. This approach will enable seamless interactions with the health and care system across the region.
We will continue laying down the solid foundations on which to build our digital services – to help us meet both the technical challenge of linking complex systems together and putting in the right infrastructure, standards and security measures.
This includes the following priority areas:
- Continue to support cross system working and connect the region’s health and care digital systems together, using the latest technologies while building in ‘privacy by design’.
- Expand the Great North Care Record making more information more widely available and accessible across our health and care system to support frontline care, individual self-management, planning and research. We will also digitally empower individuals to access and add to their information, helping people manage their own care using the Great North Care Record through the NHS App.
- Support for Hospital Discharge Notifications to primary care by automated transfer of documents to GP electronic patient records (a Discharge Summary to the patient’s GP within 24 hours).
- Support for care homes to order medication and view GP records online, reducing queries and duplicate ordering, saving time for both care homes and GP practices and providing an audit trail of orders. This will be a complete paperless process from request and authorisation to dispensing and implementing. Access to view GP records online will also reduce requests for record summaries. NHS Mail accounts are being rolled out across all care homes to ensure information is shared securely with health and social care providers. We will also continue to offer training and support on the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) to enable care homes to publish their annual assessments.
- Support Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) staff with the procurement of the 'System One unit', including configuring bespoke data entry templates and reports, supporting the migration of data from existing systems and training staff on the use of the system.
- Work with HealthCall, a collaboration of hospital trusts across the region, to support the design, development and implementation of digital health services at speed. This allows patients to self-test and record their own health readings and help them to interact digitally with their care team.
- Provide the necessary digital support to allow staff to work flexibly from home and across all partner organisation settings.
- Great North Care Record expansion; work is on-going to include additional care providers, such as hospices, in the sharing and viewing of clinical information. This requires working through the information governance, legal and ethical issues.
- County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust hospital discharge notification to primary care; work is planned to automate the process of data transfer from the Trust to primary care when the new electronic patient record system is in place.
- Care home online medication ordering and viewing of GP records, NHS Mail and DSPT; work is on-going to increase the usage of the technologies.
- Standardised Care Home Assessment Form; the development of a standard initial assessment form to be used by all providers which ensures the same, essential information is collected and shared.
- Standardised HealthCall Care Home Assessment Form; develop primary care pathways and make available to practices, also explore other opportunities/apps which can be recommended to practices for remote monitoring.
- Continue to support and deliver appropriate remote access software i.e. Checkpoint, BMS or the VDI solution that allows staff to use their own PC, ensuring equipment can connect to virtual meetings including microphone issues.
All stakeholders will be involved in benefits realisation work to ensure everything done impacts service users and clinicians for the better.
Find out more about this subject in the related Objectives, Goals, Initiatives and Metrics (OGIM) document on Durham County Council’s Committee Services website under the Heath and Wellbeing Board meeting agenda item for 24 November 2021.
We are keen to hear your views on the content of the plan, including our priorities and the measures we have identified to understand if we are making a difference. Please complete the form below, to provide your views and comments, and these will be passed to the person responsible for this chapter.