The NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG has had its new Digital First Primary Care Five-Year Roadmap approved.
Surrey Heartlands’ guide sets out the CCG’s current status – which includes 104 GP practices, over 200 dental practices, around 187 pharmacies, 151 optometry practices and community services such as mental health providers – as well as its ‘Digital First vision’ for moving forward.
The South East CCG reports in the document that it conducted 28,000 video consultations between April and September 2020 and sourced 1,000 laptops to support remote working – providing a sound base for its next digital steps.
Set to be funded by around £1.1 million from NHS Digital in year one of the roadmap, Surrey’s points of interest are: understanding the complex digital landscape while still meeting patient requirements; putting clinical pathways before procurement by ensuring digital entry points are joined up; encouraging innovation with a focus on user design and experience; implementing solutions – including transforming and upskilling local STP teams, embedding new digital initiatives and adopting agile ways of working; and driving partnership models by co-designing patient pathways with innovators and using technology to support patients.
Focusing specifically on a roadmap for ‘unscheduled care’ – also known as unplanned health and social care pathways – the document cites ‘tightening budgets, population growth, workforce challenges, COVID-19’ as the main protagonists for change.
The Health and Care Partnership plans to deliver that change through ‘collaborative working’ based around six key themes:
- Embedding digital change – ensuring digital tools and ways of working are used on a day-to-day basis and absorbed into the culture
- Leveraging digital to work at scale – minimising system, software and tool silos to support collaborative and cross-patch working
- Getting the basics right – ensuring an equal standard of basic infrastructure
- Bringing the patient on the journey – patient engagement through effective communication, messaging and support
- Connecting and sharing data insight – reducing data silos, maximising the data sets available
- Getting the patient to the right place, first time – a seamless patient journey with needs identified early on.
Each of the six themes is part of a plotted course on the roadmap, which contains a broad variety of ideas for each, across the short (next 12 months), medium (12 to 36 months) and long-term (36+ months). This encompasses plans that range in scope, from developing a training programme and partnering with universities to co-design modules, through to creating a knowledge management tool and a data controller console, with the ultimate goal of presenting a “Digital First offer for all citizens by 23/24”.
Other areas of focus include the integration of 111 into the unscheduled care model, allowing increased capacity and emergency booking, and linking this into the neighbourhood health roll-out.
The Neighbourhood Health and Care programme has its own individual roadmap and will bring together face-to-face primary, secondary and community care with access to remote tools and services, data analytics and long-term conditions management, and highstreet support from settings such as opticians, pharmacies and libraries, which will feature integrated clinical advice, near-patient testing and ‘Digital Navigators’ to help support non-digital users.
The literature also takes a deeper look at population health objectives and long-term conditions journeys, making sure to consider all types of users on the potential digital pathways – from digitally native, to partially digitally native, digitally non-native and those seeking to improve their lifestyle through preventative measures. It also considers how technology could work in a bespoke way for each category of user, including using personalised plans that are either smartphone-based, a combination of PC and face-to-face-based, or entirely face-to-face with the potential for support from a ‘Digital Navigator’.
Surrey’s full five-year digital roadmap is available to read online in proposal form.