Lessons from national leaders: How providers are progressing digital within systems

27 May 2021

In a new podcast from NHS Providers, national health leaders share reflections on advancing the digital agenda during the pandemic, and discuss how technology and data will support trusts, working in local systems, in their recovery from COVID-19.

For the final episode of NHS Providers' Digital Boards podcast series, Digital boards: lessons from national leaders, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery is joined by Navina Evans, chief executive of Health Education England and Sonia Patel, chief information officer of NHSX to discuss ways in which the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, how to ensure leaders and the wider NHS workforce are confident with the digital agenda, and the role of trusts working within systems to share best practice and decide 'what good looks like'.

Having both previously worked at trusts, the two guests describe how their experiences have given them a better understanding of the support providers need at a national level. They discuss the increasing effort national bodies are making to actively listen to the frontline, working to empower local organisations and leaders. As digital progresses, both speakers emphasise the need for trust leaders to think about the barriers they face, to share these challenges and work with partners to overcome them.


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Sonia Patel expresses how the maturity of ICSs is contingent on timely data and describes the significant work being done with the system development team at NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure data and digital is front of mind. Navina Evans says it is key for systems to focus on population needs rather than organisational demands, when creating digital strategies to deliver effective care for patients and service users.

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