On 11 November techUK welcomed a panel of experts to discuss digital transformation in Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), hearing from:
- Kate Walker, Digital Programme Director at Suffolk & North East Essex Integrated Care System
- Katherine Church, Chief Digital Officer at Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System
- Sally Rennison, VP of Sale at Patients Know Best
- Mark Davies, CMO, EMEA at IBM
We first heard from Kate on her achievements at Suffolk & North East Essex (SNEE) ICS, which she described not as an institution but a way of working in a particular area. SNEE are aiming to put the patient at the centre of their work, reducing widening health inequalities by re-imagining health and care.
Kate outlined the data-driven approach at SNEE, where they employ a cyclical process between infrastructure and transformation to achieve their aims. Kate recognised that while focussing on the building blocks of digitisation is essential, the emphasis on using them to transform services must be maintained.
Katherine echoed the importance of building on solid digital foundations in her presentation, drawing on her previous experience in the private sector and emphasising the complexity of the ICS landscape, where there is a multiplicity of stakeholders to account for. Katherine spoke to the benefits of making the most of local assets to enable a joined-up view of health and social care.
Kate and Katherine both provided an overview of several ongoing projects in their regions. For instance, Surrey Heartlands is currently developing a Patient Portal, encouraging citizens to engage with the ICS in a digital manner and working to engender trust that data is secure and the platform is easy to use.
We also heard from Sally Rennison at Patients Know Best, who observed that digital transformation in ICSs was not just about what good looks like, but what bad has looked like in the past and how we can learn from this. Sally called for central recognition that mistakes are both inevitable and that reflecting on them is essential to improving our services.
Mark Davies also noted that there has been a considerable increase in the maturity of thinking around the contribution digital can make. While we have traditionally thrown people at problems, there is now broad recognition that this is not the way we will recover the NHS and tackle current challenges. Digital transformation is crucial, and there is considerable expectation being placed on the costed transformation plans that ICSs have been asked to put together and what needs to go in around infrastructure. So far, the task of digitising providers has crowded out the equally important tasks of digitising between providers, as well as between systems and citizens. These next two steps will be critical.
You can watch the full recording here:
As ICSs are placed on statutory footing ahead of April 2022, techUK will be looking to hold a series of industry event and engagement opportunities. If you are a public sector stakeholder or techUK member with experience working with ICSs, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org get involved.