New NHS contract the answer to driving efficiencies in healthcare

Leeds-based digital services business, Answer Digital, has won the contract to continue the development and delivery of the NHS Integrating Care Programme, working with NHS Digital.

The programme is designed to join up IT systems across health and social care by making systems work with each other.

It enables improved care decisions because authorised health and social care professionals will have immediate, secure access to accurate health and care information.

Answer Digital has worked on the Integrating Care Programme for over two years.

The NHS has partnered with the company for the next phase of development for the programme. The project will run until March 2021, with a 24-month extension option available.

The initial pilot alerted authorised ambulance staff to the presence of mental health crisis plans on emergency patients’ medical records, allowing them to treat patients better on-site and avoid unnecessary A&E attendances.

The next phase will introduce new areas of specialism in more care settings, putting clinical information in the hands of the medical professionals that need it.

Richard Pugmire, head of health at Answer Digital, said: “The project will speed up the process of sharing patient records, ensuring a more accurate medical history is available.

“Ultimately, the work will help prevent harm and drive efficiencies in healthcare with less waiting for data.

“A great deal of work has been done to ensure data security, with records only available to authorised users with the appropriate controls.”

Answer Digital, which is a long-term digital partner to the NHS, recently announced a move to employee ownership to give each of its 85 staff a stake in their future and boost future innovation.

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