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SCFT chosen to pilot digital transformation of electronic patient records

Date: 15 November 2021

Time: 11:00

SCFT has become the only community foundation trust in the country chosen to take part in a new programme that will transform the way electronic patient records are managed and used – creating better care for patients and a better experience for NHS staff.

The Trust, which provides more than 80 different clinical NHS community services across Sussex to over 9,000 adults and children every single day, is just one of three trusts across the UK to participate in the NHSX Digital Aspirant Plus (DA+) EPR Innovator programme, and the only provider of community services.

The goal of the DA+ programme is to encourage more rapid innovation in electronic patient record (EPR) systems. It aims to provide staff with an electronic patient record system which is secure, easy to use in their day-to-day work and provides reliable information to support continuous improvements to services. As a result, the time it takes staff to find patient information and navigate digital systems will be shortened. It will also remove the need for patients to repeat the same information to different NHS organisations and different members of NHS staff, improving overall patient experience.

Diarmaid Crean, SCFT’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer said: “As the first Community Digital Aspirant, SCFT is already delivering an ambitious programme of work to maximise the use of digital and technology across all our services.

“Becoming a Digital Aspirant Plus is an even more exciting opportunity to work with the wider NHS and its suppliers to go even further and realise all our shared ambitions to unleash the power of data to improve patient care.”    

SCFT is now working with national NHS colleagues to build a plan to speed up and support this work.

Siobhan Melia, SCFT’s Chief Executive, added: “As a provider of community services we touch the lives of thousands of adults and children every single day. Our ambition as a trust is to deliver excellent care at the heart of the community, across all our services and to all our patients whenever they need us.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve embraced digital advances to ensure that we kept providing care despite the challenges of the pandemic. We’re excited to be recognised for the work that we have done so far and excited to be able to drive forward our work to further improve the NHS community services we provide for our patients.”

The Digital Aspirant Plus (DA+) programme has been developed by NHSX and aims to stimulate innovation in electronic patient record (EPR) systems across the acute, mental health and community sectors.

NHSX is responsible for setting national policy and developing best practice for the Health Service in areas of technology, digital and data, including data sharing and transparency. It was established in early 2019 by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to bring together information technology teams from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and NHS Improvement

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, said: “Electronic patient record systems are the building blocks of good digital healthcare but they are also complex and expensive to procure.

“At NHSX we want to positively shape the EPR market in England and help local NHS organisations procure new, modern solutions and drive wider innovation in the market.

“These exciting projects will not just help the selected trusts deliver better care for their patients and a better experience for their staff, but they will also help those other NHS organisations looking at EPR procurement.”