29.08.19

Greater Manchester unveils digital technology plans to transform care

NHS and councils within Greater Manchester have come together to develop and test new advanced technologies that look to join up vital information across public services and help empower people to live well, integrate care and save lives.

The announcement outlines a £14.3m digital transformation programme to develop advanced technologies across public services, with dementia, frailty and early years amongst the first areas of care to test the innovative new approaches.

Already the city-region has seen a wide range of technological advances, but public services have often found themselves unable to share information due to operating different technical systems.

Under the plans, a suite of new technologies will be developed to allow the safe and secure sharing of information between professionals, improving the accuracy of data, providing people with insights to take charge of their own health and wellbeing and improve the quality of care and services they receive.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has pledged a £6.8m contribution as part of the project, with a further £7.5m coming from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) – operating under NHS England’s national Local Health and Care Record (LHCR) transformation programme.

The technology will first be tested to improve care for people living dementia or who are frail by enabling critical information to be shared between patients, carers and professionals. 

It will also be used to digitise the paper-based assessments used to review a child’s development up to the age of five.  Parents and guardians will be able to complete and review the tests online, which will directly feed into the child’s health record and help identify children who need additional support.

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Jon Rouse, chief officer of the GMHSCP, said: “Despite the digital revolution, public services have been left behind.

“All too often important information is held on hundreds of different systems which cannot be accessed from one place, so people end up having to repeat their story, care is not joined up, important information is missed and problems are not identified early, which in extreme cases could lead to harm.

“Each locality has already made good progress on sharing information locally, but we now need to move beyond the basic ability to share information to maximising the opportunities brought by devolution and take a GM-wide approach to digitally transforming our public services. 

“This will allow us to provide more personalised, integrated care and treatment, supported by rich data and next generation technology.  It will ensure we continue to be at the leading edge of health innovation, supporting a continued increase in jobs, growth and prosperity for all.”

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