NHS England (London) has launched the ambitious Digital First programme to support the delivery of digital access to NHS services and help patients and their carers manage their health.. One component of this programme is the integration of elements into the NHS App to increase its functionality. This is currently being conducted across 5 ‘Accelerator’ sites, one in each sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) in London. The overall aim of the programme is to review local health economies across London, identify challenges in the patient journey, and to mitigate these through the redesign of pathways, using technical solutions. The implementation of these elements, listed below, will help to ensure that the NHS App provides a single “front-door” access and a seamless patient journey.
Core capabilities being explored for the App:
- Ability to offer video consultations
- Ability for patients to consult with their GP online
- Seamless ability for patients to book into Extended Access Hubs
- Full clinical records captured by local/regional record sharing solutions
- Triaging/assessment of patients before enabling them to book at their registered practice.
Digital First Accelerator sites are local areas selected by STPs using set criteria to act as leaders to support the design and implementation of a digital ‘front door’ into NHS services. Each STP receives additional funding to support change management and to ensure delivery. A ‘Discover, design, deliver and adopt methodology’ has been implemented at the accelerator sites as this suits the dynamic environment within which the programme sits. Each respective Digital First accelerator will report through local governance channels and to Primary and Care Urgent and Emergency boards. They will be supported by the Digital Transformation team which has been set up to provide centralised project management in collaboration with local areas.