A digital revolution in health and care

Like all parts of the country, NHS and social care services in Cheshire and Merseyside face significant challenges and demands; particularly in providing joined-up information for those that receive our services. Clear, consistent and up-to-date documentation is crucial to ensuring an individuals’ journey through complex healthcare is unified throughout their whole life – and a particular challenge at a time when budgets are under pressure.

Cheshire and Merseyside is already one of the leading regions in the country in terms of the ways we are harnessing technology to tackle these challenges and improve patient care. We are already starting to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population thanks to the implementation of an electronic shared health and care record, named the ‘Share2Care e-Xchange’.

This portal contains a wide range of documentation (including medication history and diagnoses) from hospitals across Cheshire and Merseyside, as well as Lancashire and South Cumbria, giving the approved clinicians appropriate access to support them in the delivery of safer and more effective care to our patients.

Alongside this, we’ve made investments to enhance picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) across the footprint to improve record sharing and cross-organisational working. We are also working to procure standardised security information and event management (SIEM) systems, which will be implemented in 2020/21.

Finally, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, we recently launched the Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action (CIPHA) programme, which has brought together all of the datasets from health and social care settings in Cheshire and Merseyside. This will help us to make informed decisions through tracking the spread (epidemiology) of the disease, identifying hotspots and better understanding capacity and demand in the system.

Taking our technology one step further

Although the work we’re doing is already having a real impact, we want to take it even further. For our frail and elderly, digital will have a critical role in supporting diverse teams of professionals to monitor and treat more of these people in or closer to home, and supporting more patients to self-care. For the wider population (who are used to booking anything from holidays to hair appointments online!) we want to meet their expectations of health and care services that keep pace with modern life, providing more support and care on demand and online to fit in with their increasingly busy lives.

By reducing variation and making sure all of our nine Places (council areas) are making the best use of digital technology in the day-to-day care they deliver, we can reduce costs, improve standards and deliver the best possible care.

The fundamental aim of all of the work we’re doing is to improve the health and wellbeing of the population we serve, supporting them in living longer, healthier lives. We’ll know that we’ve achieved this vision as a Partnership, when our patients and service users see the following benefits:

  • They won’t need to repeat their story to different organisations involved in their care
  • The care they will receive will be efficient and of the highest quality
  • There are improvements in clinical outcomes
  • There are improvements in how they monitor their own health
  • They have better digital connections with health and care providers

View the programme plan

To find out more about Cheshire and Merseyside’s Local Digital Roadmap, please read our ‘Digit@ll Strategy 2018-23’, which contains information about the portfolio of outcome-based transformation programmes of work within the digital programme. Focus here is around supporting the delivery of our core digital transformation themes, through which we aim to: Empower, Enhance, Connect, Innovate and Secure.

Find out more about who’s involved

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive Officer at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust, is the Senior Responsible Officer for the digital programme. To find out more about Louise and to connect with her via LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter, please visit our ‘Meet the team’ page.