The Greater Manchester Health and Care Digital Transformation Strategy has been launched, detailing how digital, data and technology will combine to transform care in the region and improve patient outcomes.
The shared approach to shaping health and care services in Greater Manchester to work better, outlined five key ambitions:
1: Deliver integrated, co-ordinated and safe care to citizens.
2: Enable staff and services to operate efficiently and productively.
3: Empower citizens to manage their health and care needs.
4: Understand population health needs and act upon insights.
5: Accelerate research and innovation into practice, as a globally leading centre.
Dr Gareth Thomas, digital innovation director at Health Innovation Manchester, who led the strategy, and NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “To improve care and outcomes for citizens in Greater Manchester, we must accelerate the development and deployment of digital innovation.
“There is tremendous potential for Greater Manchester to become a world-leading digital city region. Through close collaboration with citizens and partners across the Greater Manchester health and care system, we have a strategy that will meet our ambitions for digital transformation, leading to enhanced efficiency and integration across services, greater understanding of our population’s needs, and improved care for everyone.”
Achieving its ambitions
In order to achieve its aims, the strategy also set out plans for activities it would undertake. It has identified 47 digital and data capabilities that would help the region to meet its ICS digital transformation ambitions. Under the banner of ‘Innovate’ it plans to introduce new models of care, such as remote monitoring, and decide and design care interventions. Capabilities grouped under the heading ‘Integrate’ include AI-enabled self help triage, an integrated shared care record and a connected workforce. The final heading is for ‘Digitise’ and includes plans for data security and governance, core clinical systems, data ecosystem and analytics, support services and digital infrastructure.
The strategy also highlights some of the innovations that are already underway in Greater Manchester. This includes work to deliver 1,110 virtual beds that use technology to monitor patients’ health at home and the use of technology to improve physical health checks for people with severe mental illness.
A timeline has been established for Greater Manchester to implement its strategy. For 2024-025 key focuses include improving access to digital skills developments for the workforce, shared visibility for appointment booking in some pathways, 60% of trusts to be live with an EPR, the use of prescribed digital care tools for patients on some pathways and the development of clinical digital leadership roles.
The region is already making strides forward in transforming its services. At the start of this year Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Cardiac Clinical Network, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and FCMS, a community healthcare provider, launched a new home monitoring service for patients waiting for cardiac surgery. While more recently, this month it was announced that four trusts in the Greater Manchester Pathology Network are to deploy Clinisys’ laboratory information management system (LIMS) to improve services for clinicians and patients.