The Five Year Forward View makes a commitment that, by 2020, there would be “fully interoperable electronic health records so that patient’s records are paperless”. This was supported by a Government commitment in Personalised Health and Care 2020 that “all patient and care records will be digital, interoperable and real-time by 2020”.
It is clear that ‘digital’ technology has a significant role to play in sustainability and transformation. This includes delivering primary care at scale, securing seven day services, supporting new care models and transforming care in line with key clinical priorities. Local health and care systems have developed Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and the best plans harness the opportunities that digital technology offers.
In September 2015, a three-step process began to allow local health and care systems to produce Local Digital Roadmaps (LDRs) by June 2016, setting out how they will achieve the ambition of ‘paper-free at the point of care’ by 2020. The first step was the organisation of local commissioners, providers and social care partners into LDR footprints. The second step was for NHS providers within LDR footprints to complete a Digital Maturity Self-Assessment. The third step was the development of LDRs, for which guidance was published.
LDRs have been developed by 65 footprints. NHS England regional teams are working with these footprints to support the ongoing development of their LDRs – an early focus is on STP alignment, the approach to information sharing, and delivery plans for the ten universal capabilities (underpinned by national services, standards or infrastructure). The Birmingham and Solihull LDR has been recognised as a probable exemplar.
The Local Digital Roadmap group has now formally become the Digital Transformation work stream of the STP to ensure alignment and consistency between the former LDR and the STP.