Scotland’s digital health champions recognised

The winners have been revealed at the Holyrood Connect Digital Health and Care Awards 2019, celebrating Scotland’s digital health champions.

William Edwards, director of eHealth at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, won the Digital Leader Award.

Edwards has led the development of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s digital strategy, which sets out a long-term plan for digital transformation. He was nominated for “hugely strengthening” clinical eHealth leadership, for embedding digital in the board’s work and vision, and for significant contributions to regional and national health developments.

William Edwards said: “The award was primarily because I’ve tried to create a culture within Greater Glasgow and Clyde that empowers medical, nursing and administrative staff to embrace digital technology. These awards are a great opportunity to mark the contributions that many people make around digital technology in the NHS in Scotland, and I’m grateful to have been recognised for this.”

The Digital Impact Award was won by Dr Pam Ramsay, from Edinburgh Napier University, for her work in developing into an e-health resource to support recovery among intensive care patients across Scotland and the United Kingdom. More than 15,000 people are admitted to an intensive care unit in Scotland each year, and the e-health innovation was specifically designed to help support patients with long-term physical and psychological issues after discharge home. The website has been viewed by more than 20,000 people since going live.

Dr Ramsay said: “I’m a former intensive care nurse, but have been researching patients’ experiences of intensive care experience and recovery for almost 15 years. We have mined that information and have worked very closely with patients and families to develop an e-health resource that helps address their everyday needs during recovery. I’m absolutely delighted to have won the award.”

Each of the categories were sponsored by InterSystems. The awards were presented by Jeane Freeman, cabinet secretary for health and sport in the Scottish Government and Charles King, InterSystems lead in Scotland.

Speaking at the awards, Jeane Freeman said: “This evening is about recognising, sharing and celebrating important work. Work that is fully maximising the opportunities of digital, so that we can achieve our ambition as a country, and ambition for our health service to lead the world in providing the best integrated and person-centred care for people in Scotland now and in the future.”

“Considering the scale, diversity and the complexity of the landscape we are working in, success is only possible through a shared and collaborative approach. For both health and care providers that is a big challenge – to get our systems to work together. We are pursuing our integration agenda as a hugely significant opportunity for Scotland – the only way in fact to deliver the person-centred care people want and need.”

“We have an impressive range of nominees for these awards. Everyone who is shortlisted has achieved real impact in a variety of disciplines, situations and localities. But what I think unites all of them is a desire for positive change, harnessing the opportunities of digital, and demonstrating leadership to achieve real results.”

Charles King, InterSystems lead in Scotland said: “The standard of digital health innovation in Scotland is extremely high – something I am privileged to see in our interaction with NHS boards across Scotland, and in the entries to the Digital Health and Care Awards. It is important to place the successful approaches to eHealth in the spotlight, in order to spread benefits further afield. Congratulations to the winners especially, and to all those who were nominated for an award.”