Digital Health and Care Wales publishes organisational strategy for 2024-2030, highlighting need for “a digital and data revolution”

Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has published its organisational strategy for 2024-2030, highlighting the need for “a digital and data revolution” which will enable innovation and new ways of delivering services to empower patients and health professionals, in turn improving outcomes “by providing safe, responsive and prudent health and care services”.

The national organisation for building and designing digital services for health and care in Wales notes that the “NHS in Wales is at a turning point”. They add that the “challenges we collectively face are complex and ever-changing; improving health and reducing inequalities against a backdrop of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited funding. But the opportunity to transform health and care is also significant.”

The strategy sets out five missions, including providing a platform for enabling digital transformation, delivering high quality digital products and services, expanding the digital health and care record, driving better values and outcomes through innovation, and being a trusted strategic partner and a high quality, inclusive and ambitious organisation.

On providing a platform for enabling digital transformation, DHCW’s future model is a single data platform and a single digital health and care record, which it states will become “the foundation for all digital services and applications in Wales”. Open architecture to support innovation and the development of data standards for health and care are also highlighted as key features. Plans to 2030 include moving all data stores and services to the NDR platform to create a single national Clinical Data Repository, extending data standards and components to social care and other partners, and establishing an all-Wales framework for sharing health and social care data.

For delivering high quality digital products and services, DHCW discusses its work addressing the challenge of legacy systems and technical debt, as well as work on the national contract for GP systems, systems such as Choose Pharmacy, the Welsh Patient Administration System and the Welsh Clinical Portal. By 2030, the organisation commits to ensuring that medicines management in Wales is digitally enabled, that all digital health and major social care systems flow data to and from the NDR platform, and that core social care services are consolidated into a single all-Wales Electronic Social Care Record application.

In terms of the DHCW’s mission on expanding the digital health and care record, the organisation highlights its work with users, partner organisations and suppliers to connect local systems to the single record, underpinning the use of data for planning and improvement at local, regional and national levels. By 2030, the organisation looks to ensure that a “comprehensive single digital health and care record is used across all settings throughout Wales”, and that the NHS app is used regularly by over a million people.

Under the fourth mission of driving better value and outcomes through innovation, DHCW looks to the delivery of information services, data insights and dashboards to partners across Wales, the publication of official statistics on health, and the beginning of work on moving its analytics datastore across to the NDR platform. The organisation hopes to have an NDR Secure Data Environment providing access for researchers whilst protecting privacy, as well as a national information and data insights service “which demonstrates net benefit and value” by 2030. It also aims to deploy AI and automation safely and ethically to deliver productivity improvements across NHS Wales.

Finally, DHCW’s mission for 2030 includes taking on an academy approach through talent and leadership development programmes aligned with the Digital and Data Profession Capability Framework, and to work with partners and stakeholders to deliver a prioritised pipeline of future programmes and projects.

To read DHCW’s organisational strategy in full, please click here.

In April, DHCW announced plans to implement InterSystems’ health information system and electronic medical record TrakCare Lab Enterprise as a fully hosted and managed platform across nine health boards, 13 hospitals and 23 laboratories in Wales, with the aim of improving efficiencies in pathology services and streamlining patient care.

The organisation also launched its primary care strategy for 2024-2027 earlier this year, sharing priorities including developing a digital futures team with the intention of shaping technology choices, and enhancing researching and reporting capability.