Supporting Digital Pioneers to make a real difference

A report is published today into Eastern AHSN’s Digital Pioneers programme which aims to drive innovation projects across the region.

The report, The Revolution will be Customised: The Eastern AHSN’s Digital Pioneers, gives a detailed insight into the programme which focuses on investing in people as much as projects.

Eastern AHSN selected eight schemes for support in areas such as cardiac rehabilitation, mobile access to care records and stroke assessment and over the past year brought digital pioneers into a network, supporting them with individual and team coaching through the Leadership Centre.

Project aims included changing how the NHS supported patients in the region; increasing the ability of the health system to monitor patients’ health remotely; building more reliable and accessible patient records; and improving efficiency in clinical processes.

Although the projects moved at varying speeds, many saw significant progress, which in turn formed a solid foundation for further expansion. For example, in the Lea Valley, patient access to digital services increased four-fold and in Huntingdonshire, there was a rise in participation of activity classes, integration of services and self-care equipment provision on discharge from the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

In the report by Tim Whitworth and Debbie Sorkin for Eastern AHSN and the Leadership Centre, digital pioneer success was said to be most apparent where the pioneer asked for help, got together with someone else or found allies who understood the idea and were willing to connect others with the work.

Victoria Corbishley, Eastern AHSN’s Director of Transformation said in the report: “The results have been hugely encouraging. The group has been enhanced not just by the range of projects involved, but by the diversity of the individuals within the teams. Clinicians, managers, local government staff and IT professionals have all played a part, and their sense of openness and willingness to share their experiences and contribute to each other’s projects has benefitted everyone.”

Stacie Coburn, Eastern AHSN’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The report reinforces that we shouldn’t underestimate the power of relationships in achieving change. Strong local collaboration, distributed leadership and a safe space to fail are all crucial to success and with these conditions, almost all obstacles can be overcome. We must invest in people and local capability building alongside new tech.”

Read the full report

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