Digital Road Mapping in Community Health Services

Looking at the current lack of comprehensive digitally enabled services in North East London.

The challenge we were trying to solve

The Digital Community Health Services Programme (NHS England) recognises the critical importance of community health services (CHS) and the current lack of comprehensive digitally enabled services. CHS are central to the NHS Long Term Plan but are not always effectively harnessing digital technology to support enhanced care delivery. A fully integrated health and care system requires CHS to be at the core of digital transformation.

CHS play a valuable role in all aspects of care delivery but investment in digital transformation, and digital maturity, has historically been lower than in other sectors. CHS are experienced in working collaboratively with partners but there is variation in digital capabilities across the sector.

Aims and objectives of the project

We are supporting the North East London Health and Care Partnership’s Digital Community Health Services (CHS) Programme, which is to understand the following points to inform the development of the CHS provider element of the North East London digital roadmap:

13 semi-structured interviews were conducted with CHS providers covering a range of services to identify issues and two workshops were held to validate issues and develop solutions and the digital roadmap. 

Our Conclusions

The problem isn’t the absence of a universal CHS patient management system – it is the lack of integration and interoperability between the existing systems used in NEL. The ICS could help with the following: 

  • Provide a set of agreed standards to ensure that whatever technology is procured, it is interoperable and has the flexibility to adapt to changing needs. 
  • Help with procurement by ensuring that  a design process is followed so that providers buy products that meet the needs of users across the system
  • Conduct user research can help determine user needs. This would include understanding what software already exists across partner organisations.

A robust change management process is required to support providers with any system changes

  • Funding
  • Clear rationale behind the system change
  • Workforce training and support

Improved access to the East London Patient Record – view and edit

An improved patient pathway

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