A new Plan for Digital Health and Social Care has been published today, supported by £2 billion allocated from the spending review.
The plan focuses on the expansion of virtual wards and remote technologies, the national electronic patient records programme, developments to the NHS App, NHS.uk and patients’ access to care records, as well as sharing information between care settings.
For the NHS App, the aim is to bring more information into the App, for people to view and manage hospital appointments, have virtual consultations, and see notifications from their GP. The plan sets out an aim by March 2023 for users to view and manage hospital elective care appointments across participating trusts, receive NHS notifications and messaging, including reminders and alerts for COVID-19 vaccine booking and prescription readiness. Further ambitions for the NHS App include improving access to screening services and enabling reminders, improving access to child health records for parents and carers, and improving access to relevant clinical trials.
The plan also recognises the need to develop a national digital workforce strategy, focusing on digital skills and literacy improvements. In addition, the plan notes the need to develop specialist skills and careers, noting the ambition to create 10,500 positions to grow the data and technical workforce.