NHS Digital programme director: Innovation needs more work

Speaking at the NHS Confederation 2018 Conference in Manchester, Cleveland Henry, the programme director of innovations, digital futures and digital collaboration service at NHS Digital, talked about the digital successes and challenges that NHS Digital has encountered.

The session looked into how the advancement of technology in the health and care system has helped transform patient care. While successes were listed as e-referrals, NHSmail and the Spine, Henry concedes that technology is being introduced to patients and clinicians across the NHS, however, he admitted more work was needed to actually get people to use it.

“We have 95% of GPs offering online services but only 20% of people are using it…Yes we are doing innovation but there’s work we need to do. We can’t just chuck an iPad at it.”

Henry added that it is important to deliver solutions “that are easier to use than not to”, adding clinicians must be “comfortable” employing the technology on a daily basis.

“We need to make sure that we do our job so that front-line staff can do theirs…The more digital we make services, the easier it becomes for the staff to treat patients.”

Henry stated that the overall aim is to make the NHS “future fit” and innovation should not be stifled by previous IT projects.

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