News, NHS trust

Roadmap and priorities for Greater Manchester in new digital transformation strategy

Health Innovation Manchester has published The Greater Manchester Health and Care Digital Transformation Strategy on behalf of Greater Manchester NHS and social care partners, highlighting five key ambitions to deliver integrated, coordinated care; enable efficient and productive working; empower citizens; understand and act upon population health needs; and accelerate research and innovation into practice.

The strategy shares how GM has “invested significant time to understand the diverse needs of our citizens and describe a set of digital and data capabilities that are required for us to achieve our ambitions”, resulting in the identification of 47 digital and data capabilities which have been grouped into three layers of activity: digitise, integrate and innovate.

From these 47 capabilities, a number have been identified as priorities for services in the integrated care system: understanding and predicting population health needs; implementing an integrated share care record; citizens being able to access their health record; proactive alerts and remote monitoring; and integrated care planning.


The strategy also shares a roadmap of activities for Greater Manchester; here, it shows that the main work in 2023 includes increasing use of shared care records across all care settings, supporting the digital front door in primary care, and increasing uptake of digital social care records.

Across 2024-2025, work will focus on shared visibility for appointment booking across organisations; improving access to workforce digital skills; improvements to hardware and networking in community and social care; development of clinical digital leadership roles; having prescribed digital care tools available to patients in some pathways; begin work on digitally enabled integrated care planning; and enabling dashboards to support staff and inform patient care. In addition, the region aims to see 60 percent of trusts live with an EPR meeting minimum digital foundations.

Moving ahead, by 2026 Greater Manchester aims to have virtual care in place across a number of pathways, with remote monitoring for long-term conditions in place in some pathways. Patients should be able to manage their appointments digitally and access their care records, case finding tools will be deployed in general practice, and 85 percent of trusts should have an EPR meeting the minimum digital foundations.

Finally, across 2026-2027, the ambition is for patients to be able to contribute to self-care through care records, and health data will be available in secure environments and used to inform population health management. Looking further ahead, Greater Manchester hopes to see routine use of healthcare data collected through digital tools used to inform research; dashboards will be used to improve medicine safety; and digitally enabled care planning will be in place across organisations, tested in exemplary pathways.

Priorities in care settings

The strategy goes on to share priorities in each care setting, with supporting the integrated shared care record as a priority included in each space.

For primary care, the priorities are to enable robotic process automation; developing digital skills for the primary care workforce; supporting the digital front door and navigation; and enabling unified comms, with cloud-based telephony to help practices offer a “more pragmatic service” and facilitate PCN hub delivery.

For acute and specialist services, the priorities include remote monitoring, supporting citizens to access their health records, EPR, laboratory information management systems, and cyber security.

Moving on to mental health services in secondary care, the strategy priorities reporting and analytics tools, improvement of networking infrastructure, EPR, e-prescribing and dispensing, as well as supporting citizens to access records.

In community care, the priorities are provision of computers that meet minimum standards, improvement of network infrastructure, EPR, and building digital confidence in the workforce.

For social care, the strategy points to information governance, the digital social care record, computers that meet minimum standards, improvement of network infrastructure, and provision of technology-enabled care.

Finally, for pharmacy across care settings, the priorities are application of healthcare interoperability standards, care coordination, and e-prescribing and dispensing.

The strategy can be accessed in full here.

In related news, we recently covered the new five-year plan from NHS Greater Manchester designed to improve access to primary care service, with key aims around reducing variation in deployment of digital tools, improving inclusion and training the workforce.

Earlier in the year we also shared how health and care partners in the region have collaborated with industry and academia to secure a multi-million point health innovation accelerator aiming to rapidly improve treatment and diagnosis of disease. Click here to find out more.