How can e-Health support the Five Year Forward View?

On the 19 and 20 of April more than 3,000 health and care professionals and 80 IT suppliers will descend upon London’s Olympia for the UK’s biggest and most influential e-Health event, focused on transforming healthcare through information technology.

One of only two digital health events supported by NHS England, UK e-Health Week, which is free to attend for the public sector, has launched a number of exciting new streams such as Commissioning, Vanguards and Nursing to incorporate the wider care continuum. These latest e-Health innovations will be showcased to those who commission, implement and use them, enabling attendees to put learning into practice the very next day.

Whilst a large audience of people interested in improving healthcare through IT and technology is expected, the event will be particularly relevant to chief information officers, IT directors, IT managers, finance directors, clinicians, nurses, integrated care professionals and commissioners.

The main focus over the two days will be to discuss and identify how e-Health can support the Five Year Forward View.

Working together to utilise technology
A recent Roundtable discussion, which gathered health leaders from both the private and public sectors agreed that all stakeholders needed to work closer together in order to utilise technology effectively within the framework of the Five Year Forward View.

Stephen Lieber, president and CEO at HIMSS Worldwide, an independent member organisation in healthcare IT and organiser of UK e-Health Week, argued these types of collaborative discussions on digitisation were crucial: “We have a saying in HIMSS that if you put just government in the room by themselves, you’re going to come up with a government answer; if you put the suppliers in the room by themselves, you’re going to come up with a supplier answer. You’ve got to put everybody in the room together to come up with the right answer.”

The talks concluded that commissioners can play a huge role in driving digitisation but they do need support.

As commissioners survey the list of planning documents they currently need to write, one stands out as novel and perhaps especially significant. By this summer, every clinical commissioning group (CCG) is required to have created a local ‘digital roadmap’. These must detail how commissioners plan to ‘eradicate the use of paper in the treatment of patients across all health and care services… by 2020’. Moreover, they must fit into the bigger picture of Sustainability and Transformation plans.

The requirement to develop plans is just one manifestation of the strong national impetus on healthcare digitisation. Technology is a clear focus of the Five Year Forward View, and the National Information Board’s

Personalised Health and Care 2020 sets out a clear plan to get to a paper free NHS – one which includes those local roadmaps as an essential component.

Joining up the NHS
Beverley Bryant, director of strategic systems and technology at NHS England, who will be speaking at UK e-Health week, says the mission facing commissioners is a broad one, divided into two main areas.

She explained: “First we need to get the NHS joined up to itself, off paper, with information sharing across organisational boundaries for the delivery of care, patients not having to repeat who they are over and over, and clinicians able to access info at the touch of a button to improve and help diagnosis.”

She argued that this was ‘about getting our NHS out of the 1990s and into a place that many other industries have enjoyed for a number of years’, and expressed confidence that the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement (Chancellor George Osborne pledged a £1 billion investment in NHS technology over the next five years) means the money is there to make the vision a reality.

The second aspect of the digital challenge was, she said, to use technology to meet the self-care agenda that is so central to the Five Year Forward View. “In this modern age, many people are using technology to help them in their day-to‑day lives, and we need to be harnessing that in the improvement of healthcare.”

When asked about the importance of the Local Digital Roadmaps that the NHS has been asked to provide, Bryant said: “I guess you want me to say they won’t get any money – I won’t say that - but I will say again that it is not OK to do nothing anymore. If you were a CEO of a care provider you would not want to be at the bottom of the list. It’s time everyone stepped up to this and we have the support in place to allow them to do it.”

She added: “Ensuring technology is embedded throughout the five year Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) is crucial if we are to make better use of public spending. We’ve moved the deadline to June to line up with the STPs because it’s embedded within the guidance that came out in December.”

Jane Dwelly, head of health and care innovation at NHS England, argued the growing prevalence of digital information about care was transforming commissioning: “The commissioning system has gone through a lot of change and flux recently, and it’s found its feet. People working in commissioning roles understand better than ever before how to use data to measure outcomes against the value in terms of health, in terms of care, and in terms of finances.”

Influential speakers
While the Five Year Forward View will be a hot topic during the week, a number of other pertinent issues will be addressed including: Vanguard sites, RightCare and population health. It is also worth remembering that there will be a plethora of other speakers, Q&A sessions and talks to keep the attendees fully engaged.

The main stage programme will include senior NHS England leaders such as Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Dr Arvind Madan, Professor Sue Hill, Lord Victor Adebowale and Beverley Bryant, while the plenary sessions will provide hands on, tactical advice from those on the ground.

Beverley Bryant will present the opening keynote on day one as she discusses ‘Personalised Health & Care 2020’, and its link to the Five Year Forward View.

Following the opening keynote, Carrie Grant, known for her work as a Voice Coach on the television series Fame Academy, in addition to being a patient and carer advocate, will give a talk on ‘Remember the Patient’ and her battle with Crohn’s disease over the past 20 years.

A dedicated NHS England stream will focus on what it will take to be paperless by 2020 and include talks from the head of technology strategy, Paul Rice, and the National Information Board Leadership Forum Live!

Day two will be kicked off with an opening keynote from George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences, and Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for the NHS Commissioning Board.

These will be followed by Arvind Madan, director of primary care for NHS England, who will address the digital opportunity for primary care and what impact it will have.

Nursing care, primary care and new models of care will also occupy significant topics of discussion during the second day of the event, in addition to providing the opportunity to learn from digital care success stories.

‘UK e-Health Week is worth prioritising’
UK e-Health Week will provide the perfect opportunity for customers and suppliers alike and as Charles Alessi, a senior advisor for preventable dementia in Public Health England, said: “UK e-Health Week is really, really worth prioritising.

“It will provide us with a platform to further discuss the priorities of health and social care and how to overcome some of the boundaries, which shows  that unless we have the correct data to allow us to have a better understanding across health and social care, it will be impossible to understand  and plan for the future.”

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