Digital Pioneers Pave the Way for Future NHS

12 July 2017

Digital Pioneers Pave the Way for Future NHS

The Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) has announced 8 Digital Champions in the East of England Region as part of the launch of the National Co-Production Week 2017, celebrating collaboratively produced initiatives.

Health and care services for 500,000+ patients in the eastern region to be improved by Digital Pioneers’ projects
Problem areas such as early stroke detection, cardiac monitoring and patient record systems are being targeted.

Digital Pioneers programme is being launched during National Co-Production Week 2017 (July 3 – 7), an industry week celebrating collaboratively produced initiatives.

Earlier this week saw the launch of a vital series of projects to improve the use of digital technology in the NHS. The Digital Pioneers programme is one of a number of co-produced innovation programmes being driven by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN), one of 15 AHSNs in England.

Describing the work, Elisabeth Buggins CBE, DL, Chair Eastern AHSN said:

“Projects like this are changing how we support patients now, and will help future-proof our health service. With increased ability to monitor patients’ health remotely, more reliable and accessible patient records, and improved efficiency for clinical processes, we will be able to step up standards in healthcare treatment. Increasing awareness of the technology available to us and making sure that we stay current is absolutely vital to our future success. Our NHS is the envy of the world, we need to keep it that way.”

An initial eight projects running across the East of England will reach over 500,000 patients, providing new, more efficient ways to treat, monitor and keep clinicians connected to patients. The projects aim to improve support for patients in key areas such as cardiac rehabilitation, e-prescribing, and assessment of stroke patients.

These projects form part of the region’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ Plans (STPs), which set out how local health and care systems will meet the challenges of the future. Eastern AHSN are supporting delivery of the STP as trusted leaders to change care through use of innovations and improved knowledge.

Leaders of each project, known as ‘Digital Pioneers’ spent today at Microsoft’s UK training HQ in London, learning from international experts about the opportunities available to use existing technology better, as well as understand the potential for new technology in training. The exchange was facilitated by The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), a charity bringing together organisations from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors with the purpose of learning from one another and finding solutions together.

This is the first of four similar events taking place throughout the next year which will provide the Pioneers with the latest skills and thinking to help take forward their specific projects in the most successful way.

Digital Pioneer, Daniel Gammons from Huntingdonshire District Council said:

“We are excited to be part of helping cardiac patients in Cambridgeshire take the first steps towards digitally supported self-care. We hope that our project will shine a light on what is possible using the latest technology, and help encourage more co-produced digital projects in the health sector to get off the ground.”
The eight projects are:

1. Cardiac Rehab+ (Cambridgeshire)

Huntingdonshire District Council will develop and run an eight-week educational programme for 130 patients who have experienced cardiac failure. Participants will learn how to use ‘Activ8rlives’ (A8) self-care technology to measure and record symptom scores, medication diaries and vital signs. This will work alongside the existing ‘Active Lifestyles’ exercise programme to support their recovery. A follow on support group will also be set up to ensure that patients have an ongoing network to rely on for help, advice and moral support.

Digital Pioneer – Daniel Gammons, Sports Development Officer (Health Inequalities), Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC).

2. e-Prescribing (Essex)

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals are launching an electronic prescribing and medicines administration system (EPMA).

Digital Pioneer – Emily Harris, Prescribing Nurse lead, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals

3. Digital Community Clinicians (Norfolk)

The project at Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust will improve mobile working capabilities to help increase efficiency and enable real-time electronic record keeping. This will release valuable time, allowing doctors and nurses to see more patients.

Digital Pioneer – Emma Jackson, Clinical lead for mobile working, Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust

4. Digital Clinical Community (Norfolk)

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will establish a community of clinicians to assess the best way of introducing an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system in three acute trusts providing patients with secondary care.

Digital Pioneer – Tim Ford, Senior Project manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

5. Digital Inclusion for Children and Young People (Suffolk)

NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group is launching a digital inclusion programme which is co-produced with children and young people. The project team will tap into the knowledge of the tech savvy generation who will be the service users of the future.

Digital Pioneer – Kate Walker, Head of IT and Informatics, NHS West Suffolk CCG

6. Paramedic Assessment of Stroke Patients (Suffolk)

East of England Ambulance service and Ipswich Hospital are running a project to support paramedics in their assessment of stroke patients.

Digital Pioneer – Lynda Sibson, Telemedicine Manager, East of England Stroke Telemedicine Stakeholder Partnership

7. Primary Care Digital Champion (Suffolk and north east Essex)

Anglian Community Enterprise will recruit a digital champion to take forward digital solutions that will create system efficiencies, improve care, and improve patient access for their 23,000 patients.

Digital Pioneer – Chris Adams-Salmon, Digital Champion, Anglian Community Enterprise

8. Digital Transformation (Hertfordshire and West Essex)

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) is seeking to transform how technology is used to deliver services.

Digital Pioneer – Eddie Short, Continuous Improvement Lead, HPFT


Activ8rlives says: We are delighted to support this innovative delivery of patient rehabiltiation, education and engagement (patient activation) through the Activ8rlives’ Self-Care platform and look forward to increasing the scale of this initiative throughout Huntingdonshire in partnership with HDC and EAHSN.