Fantastic digital developments as we aim to go paperless – Tracey Grainger

What a three months we’ve had since our last update.

There have been with some fantastic developments that support the delivery and future of Transforming General Practice and access for patients and clinicians with the use of Digital Technology.

The Digital Primary Care Programme is now part of a much wider strategy for transforming general practice and features as a key priority in the delivery of the Paperless 2020 vision launched in February of this year.  NHS England announced £4.2billion would be invested to deliver this framework under a paperless 2020 portfolio of programmes of which transforming general practice is one of the technology programmes to contribute to the overall transformation.

NHS England launched its “General Practice Forward View” in April that sets out a package of national investment and transformation by 2021.   It sets out a national commitment to stabilise and transform general practice, improving services for patients and investing new ways of providing GP Services, which includes making greater use of technology.  This offer committed an additional £2.4billion to services by 2020-21 and detailed improvements via workforce, workloads, infrastructure, and care design.

Supporting the plans of the “General Practice Forward View”, in May we launched “Securing Excellent in GPIT: Operating Model 2016-18” detailing the changes to Core and Mandatory requirements using digital services that improve efficiency and effectiveness to patients and clinicians.

June continued developments around Digital Primary Care with the launch of the Digital Primary Care Maturity Assurance Model.  This model provides a view of the digital capabilities and compliance of practices across the country at GP, CCG and National level.  For the first time we have a view of Digital Capabilities and compliance across General Practice.

If you would like to learn about the tool and how Clinical Commissioning Groups and general practices can use this information, please join us on our webinars.  Details can be found on the NHS England upcoming webinars page.

We have to date received in excess of 500 applications for the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, a project within the Primary Care Transformation Programme. Collectively, a wide range of projects will deliver £900 million pounds of investment across Primary Care to accelerate the development of infrastructure to enable the improvement and expansion of joined-up out of hospital care for patients.

Primary Care interoperability is a key topic as the interoperability community begin to mobilise around the Code4Health and INTEROpen communities as it becomes clear that collaboration is the essential ingredient to solving the interoperability challenges.

The recent INTEROpen workshop held at TPP in Horsforth demonstrated the commitment from suppliers to work together around developing standards and provided an opportunity for suppliers and the NHS to share learning. Separately Health and Social Care Information Centre (to be known as NHS Digital) and NHS England have been working together on GP Connect with the GP Suppliers to define and build a set of Open APIs that will be used in primary care by GP practice, Federations and other care settings to book appointments, views patient records and send patient tasks.

NHS England have been in conversation with a number of sites who are keen to be the first of types for these new services and this is helping inform the next set of priorities to be explored.

Getting out and about, the team attended Health + Care 2016, formally Commissioning Live, at the end of June.  The five seminars looked at how the GP Forward View is to be implemented with support from the GPIT Operating Model, Digital Primary Care Maturity Assurance Model and Interoperability across Primary Care.  The reception that these topics received was fantastic with excellent feedback and discussion from attendees.

The wind down of the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund is pulling together the learning to share to those organisations looking to use Digital innovation to support new ways of working.  At the Health+Care the team shared key factors that need to be considered across the board for innovators that will help with successful delivery.

Looking ahead, over the summer of 2016 NHS England will publish the first strategy for Children’s Health Services.

“Healthy Children: A Forward View for Child Health Information” will set out the case for transforming the way information is handled in children’s health services. It suggests that making health information interoperable – translating it into messages which can be exchanged – and ensuring that we effectively manage the offer and uptake of preventative programmes of care is the best way of achieving our key objectives.

The GP Access Fund will be making available a series of Toolkits relating to digital innovations for usage by organisations.

The Digital Primary Care Team will be attending Expo on the 7-8 September at Manchester Central.  Here they will demonstrate using the Digital Primary Care Maturity Assurance Model as well as the latest developments in Digital Primary Care.

Should you wish to get in touch with the Digital Primary Care team, we can be contacted on

Tracey GraingerTracey Grainger is Head of Digital Primary Care Development at NHS England with responsibility for the digital primary care strategy.  This includes supporting general practice with a choice of high quality clinical IT systems, tailored to local requirements, while enabling the flexibility and innovation to meet current and future service needs.

She has over 24 years’ experience within the NHS that has involved leading service management, performance improvement and large scale transformational change programmes both enabled through technology and organisational development.  Tracey has worked across national, regional and local levels in a variety of health care settings.

She is currently driving the programme for the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund (PMCF) to support the delivery of new and enhanced technology solutions that will significantly improve patients’ access to services through innovative care models, making them available through digital enablement to all users of health and care data to support the delivery of better, safer care.

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