Secondary Care

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS FT accredited as GDE

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS FT has announced the formal accreditation from NHS England as a Global Digital Exemplar, and confirmation its achieved HIMSS EMRAM level 5.

The trust embarked on the programme in 2017, when selected as one of seven mental health trusts to receive funding to become a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE).

Supported with funding of £5 million over three years, the trust focused on enabling mobile access to patient records, integrating electronic records and devices, introducing digital display boards, electronic prescribing and medicines administration, and an online consultation system.

The trust adopted a ‘work from anywhere approach’, providing staff with laptops, cloud services and other IT equipment. It also introduced digital displays, taking data from its electronic patient record system, to provide a real-time status of patients.

It also transitioned away from paper for electronic prescribing and medicines administration and introduced an online consultation system used by 142 teams and over 3,000 staff. The trust said this has supported the delivery of ‘tens of thousands of treatment sessions online’.

On its integration and sharing agenda, the trust connects to the Great North Care Record, for health and care staff to view information, such as diagnoses, medication, details of hospital admissions and treatments.

Darren McKenna, Director of Digital Services at CNTW, commented: “Our trust’s advanced use of digital technology has transformed the working environment for our staff, and enabled us to provide the best possible standard of care to all our service users.

“The successful delivery of this programme and CNTW becoming an Accredited Global Digital Exemplar is a testament to the hard work and expertise of our whole Digital Services team, and the support we have received from the rest of the organisation.

“It’s particularly remarkable that the team managed to keep on delivering these improvements throughout both the transfer of Cumbrian services to the trust in October 2019, and the unexpected crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, we didn’t deliver this programme in a vacuum, and one of the greatest strengths of the Mental Health Global Digital Exemplar programme nationally has been the collaboration between organisations, sharing and learning together with other NHS trusts.

“We were able to use digital solutions to help keep staff and service users safe whilst ensuring continuity of care during the pandemic. This level of technology would not have been in place without the Global Digital Exemplar programme.”