Improving the management of digital government

Improving the management of digital government argues that the digitisation of public services in the UK is happening too slowly | Institute for Government

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It says that appointing a minister responsible for digital government would help drive change and advance standards. Digital improvements would make government cheaper, more effective and more secure. The report points to the recent NHS cyberattack as an example of the fragility in some systems being used in the public sector.

The report warns that the Government Digital Service (GDS), the Cabinet Office unit responsible for leading digital transformation of government, faces resistance from many corners of Whitehall. Without a strong minister in charge, GDS is not able to drive digital improvements in a way that meets citizens’ expectations. It sets standards for digital government, but these need to be improved and extended throughout the civil service, and with IT contractors.

The report also makes several recommendations for both GDS and Whitehall departments on how they can work better together. The Government needs to organise services around people’s needs and to urgently clarify which system citizens should use to securely identify themselves online.

 

New models of care in practice

The NHS Confederation has published briefings on new models of care and how they are working in practice:

Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts

Reviewing the culture of NHS trusts and addressing disconnects between clinicians and managers within the organisation is key to improving care, a new CQC report has revealed. | Care Quality Commission | via National Health Executive

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The CQC has published ‘Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts’.

The document examines how a number of different trusts improved care and subsequently their CQC rating by making simple changes to how services were run.

During its study, the inspectorate found that engaging with staff and allowing for open and honest conversations was vital to making improvements to care delivery.

The CQC also discovered that successful trusts tended to make their chief executives and senior staff more visible by having them spend more time on the ‘shop floor’ – meeting staff and setting up regular channels of communication. The report also highlights the increasing challenges faced by trusts.

Read more at National Health Executive

Full report: ‘Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts’.

Implementing shared decision making in the NHS

Shared decision making requires a shift in attitudes at all levels but can become part of routine practice with the right support, say Natalie Joseph-Williams and colleagues | BMJ

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Adoption of shared decision making into routine practice has been remarkably slow, despite 40 years of research and considerable policy support. In 2010, the Health Foundation in the UK commissioned the MAGIC (Making Good Decisions in Collaboration) programme to design, test, and identify the best ways to embed shared decision making into routine primary and secondary care using quality improvement methods

The learning from MAGIC derives from a variety of sources, including facilitated shared learning events, clinic and consultation observations, interviews with clinicians and patients, patient and public involvement panels, focus groups, and questionnaires. We assessed progress using “plan do study act” data collection tools,monthly project team meetings (including researchers, clinical teams, healthcare organisations, and patient representatives), and an independent evaluation report of phase 1. Here, we draw on our learning from the three year programme and subsequent experience to summarise the key challenges of implementing shared decision making and to offer some practical solutions

Read the full article here

Integration and Better Care Fund Policy Framework

The Better Care Fund will provide financial support for councils and NHS organisations to jointly plan and work together to deliver local services.

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This document sets out the story of integration of health, social care and other public services, and provides an overview of related policy initiatives and legislation.

It is intended for use by those responsible for delivering the Better Care Fund at a local level (such as clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, health and wellbeing boards) and NHS England.

It includes the policy framework for the implementation of the statutory Better Care Fund in 2017 to 2019, which was first announced in the government’s Spending Review of 2013 and established in the Care Act 2014.

It also sets out proposals for going beyond the Fund towards further integration by 2020.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence’s report, Integration 2020: Scoping research, has also been published.

Full paper: Integration and Better Care Fund Policy Framework 2017 to 2019

Tackling culture change to transform mental health services

Mandip Kaur for the King’s Fund Blog | 16th March 2017

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Traditionally, mental health services are delivered by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) up until the age of 16 or 18 – or when a young person leaves school or college – at which point they’re expected to transition to adult mental health services. It’s long been recognised that this is a poor boundary for service transition, often having a further detrimental effect on mental health.

Forward Thinking Birmingham delivers mental health services for children and young people aged up to 25, combining the expertise of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Worcester Health and Care Trust, Beacon UK, The Children’s Society and The Priory Group. The partnership’s vision is that Birmingham should be the first city where mental health problems are not a barrier to young people achieving their dreams. The transformational changes to the service were driven by the need to address disjointed and fragmented care provision, complicated service models, long waiting lists and rising demand. The service operates a ‘no wrong door’ policy and aims to provide joined-up care, focusing on individual needs, with improved access and choice for young people.

Read the full blog post here

Knowledge transfer partnership programme announced

Knowledge Transfer Partnership announced at CSO Conference ‘Bringing Science and Innovation to the Heart of the NHS’

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NHS England is set to launch its first Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme, a 12 month development programme, aimed at clinical leaders in healthcare science.  Successful applicants who secure a place will work with other leading healthcare scientists and build long-term collaborations across clinical, research and industry sectors, whilst identifying new approaches to measuring improved outcomes, ultimately for NHS patients.