Birmingham and Solihull ICS strategy highlights central role of data in service design

Birmingham and Solihull ICS’s 10-year strategy highlights the key role of data in tackling inequalities, identifying opportunities for intervention, and enhancing understanding of areas of shared priority.

The strategy looks to the better use of data and analysis as a means of achieving shared objectives such as delivering on integration, building an inclusive workforce, and contributing to the wider determinants of health.

Committing to being “intentional in acting to reduce inequalities”, the strategy notes the work required to “close the gaps” in understanding around communities and inclusion. It considers the potential for data and monitoring systems to be used to improve this understanding, and plans to use “audits and needs assessments to check on progress” and demonstrate the benefits or changes that have been made.

On delivering integration, the strategy talks about facilitating joined-up working across the system, and the need for fluid and secure movement of data between partners, to support the delivery of the best care. The need for connected data sharing “between providers that respects confidentiality and prioritises individuals’ needs”, and preventing people having to repeat information to multiple care professionals, is also highlighted for consideration.

When it comes to understanding local communities, the strategy states that the ICS expects to see “explicit use of local data in each condition area to explore and understand racial inequalities and other identity and experience linked inequalities”, with this data being used in driving “service improvement and better outcomes”.

The strategy also sets out expectations of a “refresh” in 2025/26, “once the ICS is more fully established and we have addressed some of the data and intelligence gaps to better understand need across our communities”.

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In related news, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s latest strategy, running until 2028, shares the role of digital and data across areas including culture, patient empowerment, and streamlining operations, with the trust’s digital, data and technology plan described as “a vital enabler” in transforming services, enhancing productivity, and offering “truly patient-centred care”.

Elsewhere, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has published its primary care strategy for 2024-2027, sharing priorities including developing a digital futures team with the intention of shaping technology choices, and enhancing researching and reporting capability.