Digital transformation in the NHS Contents


The Department of Health and Social Care (the Department) has a longstanding ambition to digitally transform the NHS and enable seamless sharing of data (interoperability) between the many organisations that make up the health and social care system. The Department published its digital strategy in 2014 and in 2016 it set up the Digital Transformation Portfolio to deliver the strategy. The Department has since set out its priorities for improving digital services in its 2018 Vision for digital, data and technology. NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) expects patient care to be increasingly planned and coordinated through partnerships of local health and care organisations, known as integrated care systems (ICSs) and sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs). This makes sharing data between organisations essential to enable electronic patient records to be available to, and updated by, clinicians in different organisations such as GP practices and hospitals.

Since 2016, management of the portfolio of national programmes to digitally transform the NHS has been overseen by a combination of the Department, NHSE&I and NHS Digital. NHS Digital has been the primary delivery organisation for national programmes. The Department set up NHSX in July 2019 to lead digital transformation across the NHS. NHSX reports to both the Department and NHSE&I. According to NHSE&I, the NHS will need around £8.1 billion to deliver its digital transformation ambitions, including £5.1 billion from national bodies and £3 billion from trusts.

Published: 6 November 2020