Digital Foundations

Health and care services are built on people-centred, safe, secure and ethical digital foundations which allow staff to record, access and share relevant information across the health and care system, and feel confident in their use of digital technology, in order to improve the delivery of care.

Sophie's story

“Being able to speak to and contact the people who support me online means I can contact them before I get into a crisis. I love being able to live in my own home and having access to online support makes me feel like I am in control of my care, and I don’t have to keep telling people the same thing over and over and it helps me to stay safe and access information 24/7.”

Sophie is a young lady who is living in a supported housing complex.  Sophie received a diagnosis of schizophrenia and is receiving support with an alcohol addiction.  As Sophie has an alcohol addiction and mental health condition this is known as a ‘dual diagnosis’.  

Sophie has a named social worker who has overall responsibility for ensuring she remains safe, well and independent.  As well as a named care co-ordinator, Sophie engages with a range of professionals, including:  

  • A psychiatrist who prescribes medication and recommends the most appropriate form of treatment. 
  • Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) who give medication and help to manage care and support health in the community. 
  • Occupational therapist who offers support to help Sophie to think about different ways of doing activities to help her maintain her independence.  
  • Alcohol Support Worker who is working with Sophie to manage her alcohol addiction. 

Together this group of professionals work as a multi-disciplinary team (MDT), who come together to support Sophie and connect with other services and teams in her neighbourhood. 

Sophie can be quite anxious at the prospect of leaving her home, so she has regular catch up sessions with her multi-disciplinary team via a video consultation using ‘Near Me’.  Sophie can access support online through the NHS 24 online app, NHS Inform and the Digital Lifelines programme.  In the future, she will also be able to communicate with professionals through the Digital Front Door app.

Sophie recently had a short stay in hospital and was prescribed medication through the Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration system, this information was passed directly into her Integrated Care Record and alerted the MDT to a change in Sophie’s medication.  The Integrated Care Record is a single record of all of Sophie’s contacts, assessments and interventions, meaning that Sophie has only needed to tell her story once. 

The Implementation of a new National GP IT System which is hosted online also means that the information shared and recorded by health and care professionals is accurate and up to date, this is important for Sophie’s MDT, as they will be able to work more closely and share information easily and quickly. The roll-out of the Microsoft Office 365 platform enables Sophie’s MDT to collaborate and share information, thus improving communication and the sharing of information across health and care. 

These digital systems and processes allow health & care staff to increase the level of person-centred care which ultimately recognises and addresses social and health inequalities.