What’s new in the world of digital primary care

We are now well into 2016 and January has been such a busy month, moving full speed ahead with lots of public engagements, giving me the chance to talk about our key priorities and our great work in Primary Care as well as what we have planned throughout the year.

The children’s health digital strategy is gathering pace rapidly and our first design workshop was a great success. The level of feedback and involvement from participants has been extremely positive and creating a lot of energy amongst health care providers, commissioners and supplier market.

The input so far has really helped us to shape the Children’s Digital Strategy. We now have an initial draft that is being refined as we gather more intelligence and input from our different stakeholders.

We’ve had lots of new members signing up to join our online community and the next design workshop has been so popular that we’ve added another date.  Interested parties can come along on the 24 February and contribute their ideas to the developing strategy. This workshop is aimed at:

  • Those with a responsibility for children’s health and social care integration
  • Directors, Assistant Directors and senior managers of children’s social care services with an interest in digital transformation
  • Information Managers within children’s social care services

For more information please contact:  See introductory slides on the NHS England SlideShare site.

From a wider digital primary care perspective things are also moving along and I am out and about talking to the health tech community a lot.

In early January I had a great opportunity to present the key note address to the Reform Conference contributing to ‘How the NHS is creating a social movement: the role of technology’.   As the name suggests, the conference outlined the ambitions of the Five Year Forward View and the pivotal role that technology plays in the realisation of these ambitions.

Delegates heard how technology can be used to not only drive efficiencies, but also engage and empower patients to take more control of their own health and wellbeing.  The audience were very passionate about this agenda and so supportive of the messages that I and other speakers and panel members gave.  It was a real pleasure to be there.

Also, I had the opportunity to open the West Midlands Informatics Network held at the University of Warwick which is for those health informatics professionals and enthusiasts who are passionate about health service improvement, education and research in the health informatics domain.

The day was very informative and topics discussed included how technology innovation is underpinning integrated working, technology-enabled change, sharing good practice and experiences across health and care settings.

We know doing more of the same for our citizens and patients is no longer an option. What’s exciting is that technology is not sitting on the edges of services, it’s seen as integral to the delivery of health and care. To fast forward into the future, have a glimpse of what our services universally could look like.

See presentation slides on the NHS England SlideShare site.

I’m now gearing up for my next speaking engagement where I’ll be talking to the Criminal Justice Sector about the role technology can play in the delivery of primary care health services to detainees;  how care can be centred around the patients, rather than making the patients fit into an inflexible health service provision.

I’m going to be using some examples of the innovative work that is happening in the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund around e-consultations, remote multi-disciplinary team work and brilliant telehealth apps that could really improve care in this setting.

Wouldn’t it be great if patients could be seen without leaving their secure setting, with trackable health care provision to improve patient outcomes and most importantly, becoming more efficient by removing the need for co-ordinating provision and logistics to move patients from one place to another.

I will keep you updated with progress but if you want to get more involved please register on our Digital Technology Community by contacting:  All welcome including those interested in primary care innovation, commissioners, delivery teams and the supplier market.

Tracey Grainger

Tracey Grainger is Head of Digital Primary Care Development at NHS England with responsibility for supporting transformation across general practice and child health information services. This includes supporting services 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 of our patients and citizens.

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 supporting the digital programme within the Estates and Technology Fund 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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One comment

  1. Paul says:

    Interesting stuff. Is there an “end-to-end” analysis being undertaken here – for example, that more remote, patient-side primary care could eventually reduce the size of the NHS estate? Also, would there be a possibility of examining tie-ins with commercial vendors (a simplistic example would be consumer health tracker wristbands) or should this always be an NHS-led experience?