Digital transformation is hard. Many large organisations – inside and outside the NHS – struggle to get it right. Most senior leaders will have first-hand experience; digital programmes that raise expectations but fail to deliver any real benefits, technology supplier relationships that go sour or clunky new systems that get in the way of clinical care. When digital is done well, however, it can play a major role in the transformation of healthcare; delivering better health and better care at lower cost.
In this guide, we've set out eight guiding principles to help trusts to improve how they deliver digital services and avoid common mistakes. Building this digital delivery 'muscle' often requires practical changes to how your organisation works: communications, governance, procurement and funding. And – as Caroline Clarke, group chief executive at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, explains in the foreword to this guide – successful digital transformation takes time, investment and a culture of collaboration and learning.
These principles should be read alongside the previous guides we have published, which set out the ‘pre-conditions’ for digital transformation in the NHS. These guides are designed for boards and senior leaders:
- A new era of digital leadership
- Building and enabling digital teams
- Building a digital strategy
- Making the right technology decisions
We also recommend these resources from inside and outside the NHS, which go into more detail on the principles set out in this guide:
- What good looks like, NHS England and Improvement
- NHS digital service manual and service standard
- Government service manual
- 18F de-risking government technology guide
- The Digital Readiness Education Programme, Health Education England
- The Digital Boards Knowledge Hub, NHS Providers
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