Securing third sector participation in the National Digital Platform

Section: DigitalThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 23rd October 2019
National Digital Platform event

After a recent event with NES Digital Service, the third/independent sector is building collaboration with the national digital platform.

Late last month, the ALLIANCE in partnership with CCPS and Scottish Care ran a roundtable event with third/independent sector leaders and NES Digital Service (NDS) on the national digital platform (this link will take you away from our website).

The platform is one of six ‘domains’ in Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy. It aims to enable the appropriate creation and use of information at point of care and facilitate the ‘interoperability’ of existing and new health and care technologies – so systems, devices and applications work together and can share/use data to help improve services, support research and foster innovation.

This is a big task and NDS are growing in scale to help deliver on this ambition.  They are also building solutions starting with a digital form (called RESPECT) that could support end of life care.

Given NDS’ central role, the collaborative event was the start of a conversation to enhance their engagement in the third/independent sector. We also explored some potential areas for initial partnership working. Given the diversity of leaders attending (from health, social care and care homes) there was a range of views on what to focus on but consensus formed on two priorities:

  1. Care plans – core summary information about a person that could be shared across the third sector, local government and NHS to better co-ordinate that person’s care. This is particularly important at points of transition of care. It might also reduce the need for an individual to ‘repeat their story’ to different people involved in their care and be one step towards achieving a single version of the ‘truth’.
  2. Shifting to an outcome-based approach – a wider ambition to make the outcomes that we want to achieve the basis for more collaborative work and our approach to the use of data.

The lively discussion surfaced other common points which link to several domains in the Digital Health and Care Strategy. For instance, on systems:

  • There was a request for clear guidance to the third/independent sector organisations investing in new digital health and care systems – for example, what core elements do those systems need to have to connect with the national platform?
  • The need for health to health digital systems to connect better as well as initiating the integration of health and social care systems
  • Could using similar systems like Office365 and email improve communication

On authentication and data sharing:

  • The need for an identifier (for individuals) like the NHS CHI number that could be used in social care and facilitate appropriate data sharing
  • The need for a clear, consistent approach to information governance across Scotland
  • Guidance on the ‘ideal’ data set to improve data collection and data quality
  • Recognition that some professionals will need relatively more access to data about an individual’s health and care and considering how could this be enabled

And more generally:

  • Increasing the visibility of how the Digital Health and Care Strategy is being delivered
  • Realising that while cost effectiveness is a driver for change, successful implementation needs cultural shift too by winning ‘hearts and minds’ on the ground
  • The need for citizen participation so services are designed based on their needs (and how the third sector can play a role in facilitating this), ensuring equality of access and also avoiding gender bias in how we construct delivery.

As the event closed, NDS reflected on the discussion and promised to develop an engagement approach that could better support outcomes for people working in and those supported by the third/independent sector.  This is available below alongside two other presentations from the event.

We are grateful to NDS for detailing the actions they will now take and the outputs/outcomes that can be supported through their commitments to engagement with the third/independent sector.

Finally, big thanks again to everyone who participated and gave such great input at last month’s event. It was a catalyst and a useful beginning for what we hope will be regular dialogue between the sector and NDS. We will continue to work with our members/partners to help take this forward.

We thought you might also like: