Digital First Primary Care


The digital first primary (DFPC) programme is in the second year of a five year programme and the programme itself consists of 40 DFPC Projects (four of which are Accelerator Hypertension projects) holding a budget of over £3.2 million through Digital First Funding.

We have a wide ranging portfolio of projects across the programme, which highlights the diversity and innovation of our serving population. From remote video/online conferencing and involved Show and Tell OC supplier webinars, created OC/VC PCN blueprint and recently (across NHS Cheshire CCG) Clinical lead interviews to share the views from a clinical/PCN perspective of their journey through Digital First (Total triage). In addition, there’s Care Homes Digital Readiness/Integration, How2 ( maximising the benefits of practice, Telehealth, HCP Respiratory Improvement Programme) and recently great work of a Digital Inclusion C&M wide provision of IT Kit, which is proving to be a great collaboration projects across all CCGs to collectively recycle unused IT computers across C&M population/citizens. All of the projects are a brilliant showcase of innovation and drive and diversity that is happening across Primary care in the region.

Where are we up to currently?

DFPC programme is now established and in place on the team, we have Senior Reporting Officer Paul Charnley, Commissioning Lead and Head of Technology in Cheshire and Merseyside Darren Hunter and Clinical Lead Dr Dan Jones.

Currently, the majority of the projects within the DFPC programme are in the start-up stages, but that said, we are already seeing amazing innovation and delivery across primary care across the Cheshire and Merseyside region. In addition, we’ve recently established a new DFPC weekly risks and issues group, which as we drive projects forward will enable better visibility of any blockers, highlighted risks/issues that may prevent delivery/slippage to the projects.

We have also now established governance/reporting lines both regionally and nationally and hold monthly board meetings which are highly attended by all CCGs and the two hour slots never seem enough! Alongside updates from Digital First given by Darren Hunter, these meetings provide an opportunity for each CCG to highlight and showcase the great work happening across each of their projects. Whilst also providing an opportunity to share best practice and strategy across the wider system and help shape future commissioning planning across Digital First across Cheshire and Merseyside.

The Programme is also working in collaboration with Cheshire and Merseyside Programme Management Office and NHSE/I NW Regional leads in the introduction of a new online PMO Model tool called ‘Smartsheets’. We are still very much at the forming stage, however taking great strides to establish the new ways of working, reporting and to offer assurance across all CCGs across C&M and to feed into the wider landscape of Digital First. This also includes and feeds into the wider area across NW including Greater Manchester and Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Looking forward

As we move forward, we’re also keen to build on the existing collaboration across the system to benefit the wider C&M population/systems, for example we now have a newly formed working group for the projects covering Digital Inclusion/Exclusion. It’s a great space to share best practice and ideas as we have 3 CCGs focusing on Digital Inclusion projects across C&M, NHS Liverpool CCG (Partnership Partnership Working with Multi-Disciplinary Agencies to Support Digital Inclusion),  NHS Wirral CCG (Digital Inclusion – Reducing Inequalities) and NHS Warrington and Halton NHS ( Digital Inclusion Program). The CCGs are also collaborating and sharing best practice at the Digital Inclusion/Extension monthly group lead by Project Manager Jenny Mason, which again reaches a wider coverage across C&M places and local systems – including the voluntary/charity sector .

The team are also excited to know what the next financial year of funding will bring and to build on existing and new innovation to Primary Care across C&M.

We’ve also been having lots of discussions across the Cheshire and Merseyside PMO function and digital portfolio on how we can work together better and improve how we collaborate our strategies. Focusing particularly on the care homes digital service programme and the remote monitoring programme as we have lots of cross over within the DFPC programme and believe collective collaboration serves the population better and helps to reach wider population/citizens.

If you’d like to find out more about the programme or join in on the discussions we’re having, please contact programme manager Amanda Parkin.