Blackpool and Wye Valley selected as ‘fast followers’

An NHS England spokesperson said: "We hope to be in a position to set out more detail on the Global Digital Exemplars and Fast Followers programme shortly."

Global Digital Exemplars (GDEs) will share best practice examples with other trusts through the ‘fast follower’ scheme

[London, UK] Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and Wye Valley have been chosen to take part in the ‘fast followers’ scheme developed by NHS England, Taunton & Somerset’s latest board papers show.

NHS England Chief Information Officer Will Smart announced the new programme at an event earlier this month, saying that 20 trusts will be selected to increase their digital maturity over the next coming years while collaborating with the Global Digital Exemplars (GDEs).

According to February board papers, Taunton & Somerset, one of the 12 GDEs selected thus far, will be working with these two trusts, which are also IMS MAXIMS customers.

An NHS England spokesperson said: "We hope to be in a position to set out more detail on the Global Digital Exemplars and Fast Followers programme shortly."

Blackpool Teaching Hospital and Wye Valley representatives did not respond to our request for comment in time for publication. BJ-HC did not find any mention of the scheme in the January board papers of these two trusts.

Open source IT director takes role at NHS Digital

Elsewhere, Malcolm Senior, former Director of Informatics at Taunton & Somerset, has taken on a new role at NHS Digital as Programme Director.

Senior, who has been working in the NHS since 2004, confirmed the news in an interview for BJ-HC last year, although it was unclear at the time what role he would be occupying.

During his tenure at Taunton & Somerset, the trust adopted an open source EPR which is now up and running across different departments, provided by IMS MAXIMS.

The GDE scheme, announced last year, was described by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as an ‘Ivy League’ of trusts which will maximise sharing of best practice across the health and care system.

IT strategy

The trust’s latest board papers also show that the IT strategy for the next three to five years will be focused on ‘mobile working, clinical benefits of digitalisation and sharing of information’ across all sites.

Stuart Hill, Head of Programme Management Systems, revealed that some of the key elements of the GDE programme will include the development of ‘specific workstreams’ which will improve patient management and increase engagement of staff.