Agenda item

Digital Health

Presentation by the Chief Information Officer, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust


The Chief Information Officer, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) gave a presentation providing Members with an update in respect of Digital Health.


It was reported that CDDFT Digital Strategy which was developed with patients, staff and partners was published in 2016; had been extended up to 2022 due to COVID and was now approaching the end of its lifespan.


The presentation outlined the aims and status of the six strategic themes of the strategy, of which ‘Working Together’, ‘Working Securely’, ‘Paper-light to Paperless’ and ‘Quality Services’ had green status. Members were informed that the status of ‘Working Smarter’ was amber as the implementation of the electronic patient record (EPR) had not commenced and ‘Citizen Access’ had red status as this was awaiting development aligned to the Great North Care Record (GNCR).


It was reported that a baseline assessment of the Trusts digital maturity was undertaken in 2021. The assessment identifiedknown gaps in provision however these gaps would be met through the adoption of the EPR and supporting technologies; and it was anticipated that this would take the Trust from Stage 1 to Stage 5.


Members were informed that the Trust straddled two of the four ICP’s within the North East and North Cumbria ICS and played an active role in the development of the ICS digital strategy; the trust had established a ‘Digital Durham Place’ meeting with an intention to duplicate this in Darlington; and the Trust had worked with partners to develop a Digital OGIM within each ICP, which outlined how the ICP’s schemes would contribute to the delivery of the ICS Digital Strategy and identifies key areas for investment and activity within the region in the future.


In relation to digital care in the community it was reported that as a response to COVID and to support the Trusts activity recovery programme, the Agile working provision had been extended; Health Call Digital Care Home had been deployed in all of the care homes for older people in Darlington, enabling patients to be seen in the home, reducing unnecessary visits to the hospital; and to ensure outpatient services continued for patients during  the pandemic, the Trust adopted a nationally procured solution for Video Consultations, alongside teleconsultations, as an alternative to face-to-face sessions.


It was reported that the Trust had adopted the GCNR and this would be further enhanced with the development of the Public Engagement Platform; reference was made to the work being undertaken by the Trust for staff and patients in relation to digital health and digital exclusion; and details were provided of the next steps for the Trust.


Members raised concern regarding the sharing of information with private care providers and possible security risks and issues associated with the transfer of medical records from the GP to a hospital setting. Members were assured that robust processes were in place regarding access to patients information and that further development was required by the GNCR team to address issues associated with GP information sharing.


RESOLVED – That the Chief Information Officer, CDDFT be thanked for his informative presentation.





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