News, NHS trust

NHS Medway clinical strategy highlights digital and data plans including frailty virtual ward and electronic pharmacy systems

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has published its clinical strategy for 2024 – 2027, mapping future clinical services and defining how the trust intends to “advance and innovate to provide the best possible healthcare services” for residents, including utilising digitally enabled care, AI in diagnostics and tech to support clinical pathways.

In delivering the strategy, the trust highlights the need to “consolidate and build on changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic”, including embedding digitally enabled care and embracing alternative ways of working, and earning recognition as a “centre of excellence” in research and innovation.

The document sets out longer-term ambitions for each speciality and service, including establishing a frailty virtual ward; using electronic systems to optimise medicines use in pharmacy; and promoting “the widespread use” of AI programmes in radiology to enhance patient outcomes and support training of staff in diagnostic imaging.

Additional plans include “utilisation of the second surgical robot to offer more and different procedures” in colorectal surgery; and offering innovative services through collaborative working, such as continuous glucose monitoring through mobile tech in diabetes care.

On data, the strategy notes plans to optimise the shared use of medicines data in pharmacy services, to establish data collection to “inform a Non Ambulatory Fragility Fracture patients metric”, and to embed the use of national data in the benchmarking of services.

In order to achieve these ambitions, the trust emphasises the importance of strengthening enabling initiatives such as IT, transformation and business intelligence.

To read the strategy summary in full, please click here.

Late last year, Medway NHS Foundation Trust sought views from the general public for its upcoming Digital, Data and Technology Strategy, with a short survey to help build an understanding of patient views, including how patients use technology to support their care and experience in hospital.

Elsewhere on strategy, the Scottish Government has published Scotland’s Genomic Medicine Strategy 2024-2029, highlighting plans to develop a genomic medicine service “based on the principles of person-centred care” and better enabling the use of genomic information to support disease prevention and early detection, along with the need for national digital infrastructure.