Scottish Care in the Digital Age outlines delivery plans for 2024/25

The Scottish government has published the latest update to its Care in the Digital Age strategy, covering delivery plans for 2024 to 2025 across digital access, digital services, digital foundations, digital skills, and data. The update outlines progress over the last year on areas such as remote monitoring, the Integrated Social Care and Health Record, the collection of real-time data, digital maturity assessments, and more.

For the year 2023/24, the update details progress including the publication of Scotland’s Data Strategy for Health and Social Care in February of 2023; the expansion of remote monitoring services including Connect Me, which allows patients to report blood pressure readings and health information by text, through an app, or online; and a new system for the Community Health Index in November 2023, “consolidating eight legacy systems under a single, cloud-based technology”, supporting “quality data” for the development of new methods and treatments.

A nationwide digital maturity assessment was also completed in July 2023 to help inform priorities and funding allocation; the Seer 2 platform was launched in February 2024 to provide “enhanced capacity and capability in providing near real-time data from across Scotland’s health and care systems”; and work has begun on projects such as the Integrated Social Care and Health Record, to allow “safe, secure and efficient sharing of social care and health data across relevant care settings”.

Looking ahead, the update outlines key upcoming events and their progress to date, with a planned delivery date of December 2024 for a digital inclusion programme, the first phase of an interactive digital front door to be completed by March 2026, and both the development of the Digital Hospital @ Home programme to increase virtual beds and the development of digital mental health therapies “on track” for delivery in March 2025.

In terms of infrastructure, the update notes a number of planned improvements, including a new national GP IT system through a single cloud-hosted solution due to be fully rolled-out by 2026, a hospital electronic prescribing and medicines administration system across health boards to be ready by December 2025, and a single sign-on solution to multiple platforms for NHS staff set to be introduced in March 2025.

Plans for the advancement of digital skills amongst the Scottish health and care workforce include the provision of a “Digital Transformation in Health and Care MSc” for 50 people per year starting March 2026, a “refreshed programme” for digital data leadership and skills through published learning pathways from September 2024, and a focus on supporting the development of the DDaT workforce through the DDaT Capability Framework within NHS Scotland Boards for December 2025.

To read the Care in the Digital Age update for 2024/25 in full, please click here.

In other news from Scotland, the Scottish Government recently 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.