News, Secondary Care

North East & North Cumbria ICS releases new digital strategy

The North East & North Cumbria ICS (integrated care system) has released its new digital strategy.

Published in December 2020, the strategy stretches across plans and aims for the next four years, until 2024, and reflects the shifting healthcare requirements since the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a shared foreword, the ICS name-checked a number of areas of future interest including “Cloud, standards-based interoperability, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence’”and said it will “support and equip our workforce to be ready to embrace these digital opportunities”.

The region’s experts collaborated to produce a ‘shared vision’ with five ‘key interlinked themes’ for delivery, including:

  • The Essentials – ‘getting the basics right’ and ‘using shared approaches’
  • Improving – ‘digitally mature organisations’ and a ‘digitally capable workforce’
  • Connecting – ‘secure sharing of information’ to improve the ‘quality and safety of care’
  • Empowering – ‘people to be partners in their own health and care needs’
  • Learning – using ‘up-to-date information’ to ‘proactively respond’ to the needs of the population.

To summarise, the themes focus together on a broad range of aims and objectives, including assuring citizens about safety and security, upskilling the workforce, collective design, reducing complexity and costs, increased flexibility, connecting digital systems across the region and beyond, making more information available and digitally empowering individuals.

As well as providing future goals and a ‘roadmap’, the document also covers governance and accountability, as well as what has already been achieved in each key theme area.

A partner of the project, Steve Cram CBE, Great North Care Record Ambassador, added: “I’m delighted to see the progress over the last 18 months, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s encouraging to see that hospitals, GPs and mental health services are beginning to share more information.

It’s great to see how the region is working together and offering more ways for staff to access information, and so that patients have more choices in the future to interact digitally.”

To find out more about the region’s digital strategy and journey, visit