Plan for digital health and social care sets out clear national vision

29 June 2022

Responding to the plan for digital health and social care, published by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"We welcome this plan which rightly signals digital transformation as a high priority within the NHS, and aims to set out a clear national vision for a digital future, consolidating previous national guidance.

"It also provides a much needed clearer plan of action for trust leaders as they support digital transformation in their organisations and their local systems. Trust leaders recognise the role digital tools will play in recovering elective performance and supporting the workforce sustainably.

"The focus on patient experience and empowering patients to be more involved in their care and data is particularly welcome, and the plan also rightly recognises the role of NHS England in supporting commercial negotiation with technology suppliers and leveraging purchasing power at scale. We welcome the commitment to produce a new framework for NHS action on digital inclusion, which has rightly risen up the agenda since the sector's response to the pandemic.

"The investment previously announced in the spending review will begin to help trusts address some of the digital basics and foundations, however trust leaders continue to feedback that funding remains one of the largest issues. Therefore, the department should accelerate the ways this funding reaches the frontline.

"While providers will understand the need to increasingly factor digital maturity into the centre's regulatory approach, this oversight needs to be proportionate and appropriate given the number of priorities trust leaders are tasked with."