The NHS’s top digital influencers visited Northwick Park and Hillingdon hospitals to see the tech challenges they face and national support needed for large scale digital investment, such as electronic patient records.
Matthew Gould, CEO of NHS X, and Sarah Wilkinson, CEO of NHS Digital, were joined by William Warr, the PM’s health advisor.
It included showcasing existing innovation, such as the Infinity e-portering app which allows A&E staff to call a porter using their mobile, and electronic patient letters.
The group’s tour took in medical records where more than half-a-million paper files are stored along with visits to the hospitals’ data centres and telephone exchange rooms offering evidence of the trusts’ outdated paper based and fragmented digital systems.
The trusts’ three priorities for investment are the introduction of digital care records, tackling the backlog of issues affecting its digital infrastructure and increasing cybersecurity.
Matthew Gould said: “Even in the challenges you face, we see real bright spots of innovation, creativity and cutting edge technology, like Infinity Health.
“It’s absolutely fantastic and confirms my view that actually there is a ton of innovation going on in the NHS and we just need to work out how we capture it, scale it. There are brilliant people thinking up brilliant things all over the trust.”
Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer for both trusts, added: “Our staff and patients need and expect more health related data and technology at their fingertips.
“This means having the right digital tools and experience to work more efficiently and deliver better co-ordinated care with our partners. It’s also about improving patient engagement to help them better support their own health and wellbeing’.
“Greater digital capacity will also help us to reduce the paper burden and duplication of processes, such as clinical staff asking patients for the same information several times in succession.”