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Supporting development of national digital strategies

Our Transformation Unit was commissioned by NHSX to support in the development of its national digital strategies for ambulance, community, dentistry, optometry and community pharmacy sectors.

Background

There is significant potential for digital technologies to support improvements in care across the whole of the NHS towards the delivery of 21st century world class health care for all patients. This potential could be highest in those sectors which have historically received less digital funding in recent years, namely Pharmacy, Optometry, Dentistry, Ambulance and Community (PODAC) services.

NHSX needed to develop a digital strategy for these five sectors and required an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement to achieve this.

We worked in partnership with Kaleidoscope Health & Care to deliver a full programme of stakeholder engagement across the five sectors to inform development of the NHSX Digital PODAC strategy (2021 – 2026).

Key deliverables were to:

  1. develop comprehensive national digital strategies across the five PODAC sectors
  2. facilitate the building of social capital between stakeholders for long-term engagement and development.

Action
Our support included:

  • delivery of desk-based review of digital developments across the sectors
  • wide-ranging engagement activities to seek views and input to identify key needs, priorities and recommendations. Stakeholders were drawn from NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI), staff representative bodies, sector membership organisations, individual practitioners, patients and patient representative bodies, system leads and digital champions
  • focused workshops to test and challenge the recommendations and implementation plans
  • authorship of the sector strategies, working collaboratively with NHSX PODAC Sector Leads
  • support for stakeholder management.

We engaged with over 500 key stakeholders nationally (via one-to-ones or group meetings, bespoke workshops and online feedback) to successfully facilitate the deliverables.

Impact

Our approach ensured that the digital strategy remained closely aligned to the clinical vision for each sector and built relationships with key stakeholders so that they can continue to be involved in planning and implementing the priorities set out in the strategy.

The resulting strategy was endorsed by NHSEI clinical leadership for each sector and the strategy underpinned a case for investment for the programme.