Delivering the digital future

The Director of Nursing, Professional Development at NHS England examines  strengthening the professional voice and leadership within the digital space:

Leading Change, Adding Value (LCAV) is the national framework for all nursing, midwifery and care staff, wherever they work, whatever their role.

Launched in 2016, the framework was co-produced and continues to be co-implemented by a wide range of national organisations and bodies representative of the health and care sectors.

I have regularly highlighted that LCAV was developed to support nursing, midwifery and care colleagues to consider the outcomes of their work and question what impact their actions are having by evidencing a measurable difference to experience, outcomes and the use of resources. By bringing this focus to achieving the ‘triple aim’ of improving experience, outcomes and use of resources, we are able to clearly demonstrate the vitally important contributions of the professions to the Five Year Forward View and the wider system going forwards.

I have also frequently reiterated that the use of technology and data is a core theme in the framework and I make no apologies for repeating that there is a huge amount of untapped nursing, midwifery and care staff leadership potential within the digital space.

A recently published Royal College of Nursing survey Every Nurse an E-nurse: Insights from a consultation on the digital future of nursing demonstrates that nurses fully understand and support that a digitally enabled health and social care system improves patient outcomes, enhances working lives, and makes services more efficient. The report illustrates that nurses are positive about the digital future, and that nursing leadership is key, as is nursing engagement within any system design.

The report also highlights the challenges to making that vision a reality, and that many organisations do not prioritise the voices of nurses in providing digital leadership.

There are of course, many nurses across the system who are involved and leading in the space and doing some fantastic work. I have signposted some of this work previously, and the LCAV webpages also enable this work to be shared nationally.

However there is a great deal more to do and as part of this ambition and we are delighted to be working with colleagues at Health Education England (HEE) to encourage nurses and midwives across all health and care sectors to engage with the current work on The Topol review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future.

This major independent review has been commissioned to be led by Dr Eric Topol, and facilitated by HEE; and is exploring how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future.

The interim report addresses ‘game-changing technologies’ such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics which will have an enormous impact on the delivery of care and form a key part of the future of the NHS.

It highlights how technologies are transforming our practice, such as enabling individuals to participate and lead their own care, and to personalise the management of long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

The review asks for evidence and experience of introducing or developing technologies in health and care, especially those with a perspective on the implications for the workforce, and healthcare workforce education and development. The closing date for the online call for evidence is Wednesday 29 August 2018 at 12.00 noon and I would strongly encourage any nurse or midwife to read the report, share within your organisation, and join the online conversation.

Please do share your thoughts, suggestions and experience from every day real-life practice to help this come to life.

Susan Aitkenhead

Susan Aitkenhead is Director of Nursing, Professional Development at NHS England and leads on a variety of work aligned to system and service transformation at national, regional and local levels.

Susan is a registered nurse with extensive clinical, operational and strategic experience in delivering healthcare across a variety of settings; and provider and commissioning Board roles based within both the UK and overseas.

She has also worked in a variety of national policy roles such as at the Department of Health providing advice and support to ministers and policy officials across central government departments, and in professional regulation at the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

As part of her role Susan also works one day a week as a non-executive Director for Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, as their Board Nurse. This is a partnership between Manchester City Council and NHS Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (previously NHS North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups). These organisations came together to ensure a more joined up and effective approach to commissioning health and social care services for the people of Manchester; and the Board Nurse role adds scrutiny with particular regard to guardianship of the patient experience across all care settings including safeguarding, quality and experience.

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One comment

  1. Kassander says:

    “Delivering the digital future”
    Unfortunately, this article tells me very little about the digital future for OUR=NHS.

    It tells me about discussions about “Delivering the digital future” which will end in 14 days time.

    Perhaps the 1st thing to do is to upgrade your BroadBand speed, or some aspect of your communications system’s speed.
    Poor show.