Digital Health and Care Wales focus on knowledge-sharing and collaboration in new Information & Analytics Strategy

Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has published its Information & Analytics Strategy for 2023-2026, highlighting a focus on enabling an environment for innovation, developing common design and best practice standards, increasing collaboration to share knowledge, and improving training and opportunities for data staff.

The strategy states that although DHCW has a “successful track record” of recruiting for its information services team, investing in staff development, and building up a portfolio of information services and data products, it recognises that it is still not fully utilising the skills of the data analysts within its team, particularly around data modelling and AI. With a new R&I function and the creation of an AI Commission, however, DHCW is hoping to make the most of new opportunities for digital health and services.

The first of the strategy’s aims looks to the provision of “a national information and analytics service that embraces innovation”, with DHCW hoping to become a leading service provider with a focus on value from data, using data to meet service needs and adopting new approaches within its service model. It will meet this aim by creating an environment where its team can develop new innovative approaches relating to data and analytics, and developing a delivery plan for meeting expected requirement and standards.

The second of the strategy’s aims is to focus on the quality, value and user experience of service and products. DHCW aims to make its service more responsive to users, providing them with high quality information, and involving them in the design of products to ensure data requirements are factored in. It plans to build feedback into its products, building effective engagement with stakeholders, and developing “common design standards and best practice guides for information products”.

Strategic aim three focuses on collaboration, with aims of increasing awareness of available data products and information, contributing to key groups and networks, and creating collaborations with other NHS organisations, industry and academic partners to share knowledge, expertise, and resources. DHCW will achieve these aims by producing an accessible catalogue of all information products, growing its online presence to advertise capabilities, ensuring representation on key groups and networks, and committing to a schedule of stakeholder engagement to explore what is possible on data use.

The fourth and final aim outlined by the strategy is on developing and investing in people. DHCW wants to attract talent, retain staff, and offer opportunities for progression, creating chances to work across specialist information areas and developing leadership opportunities. It plans to achieve this by engaging with academic partners, undertaking regular skills analysis to identify capabilities and skills gaps, and establishing training programmes which reflect those gaps.

A delivery plan will support the strategy, and the DHCW will evaluate and measure delivery in a range of ways including ongoing evaluation and feedback on products and services, performance management, and monitoring staff retention, recruitment and engagement activities. DHCW will be regularly reviewing this “to respond to any changing needs and ensure learning and continual improvements are made to deliver best practice”.

Also on digital 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.

Elsewhere, recent board papers from Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Solent NHS Trust and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust revolve around ‘Project Fusion’, which will see a number of their services brought together under a new trust; as part of their meeting, the boards discussed the new trust’s developing digital strategy and digital transition requirements, including plans to develop an EPR roadmap and priority areas of focus for digital.