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Digital nursing in London in 2023

Nurses have been centre stage of digital transformation in the Capital during 2022. In this blog we hear from Sarah Newcombe, Chief Nursing Information Officer at both NHS England (London Region) and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Sarah talks about the key achievements in digital nursing from last year and some of the key priorities for the year ahead.

5 January 2023

What a fantastic year 2022 has been for Digital Nursing across London. It has been a genuine honour to bring together the Chief Nursing Information Officers (CNIO) to network, discuss and debate the on-going Digital Transformation across London.

Sarah Newcombe

To succeed in Digital Transformation, we need to engage the whole system and as nurses are the largest part of the workforce any successful change must involve them. These CNIO Nurse Leaders are successfully advocating for their profession and championing and supporting nurses to develop knowledge and generate new skills in many areas such as virtual models of care, data analytics and co-designing digital solutions with their patients.

Our key achievements from 2022

In the last 12 months, as a CNIO clinical network, we have devised a common vision for the What Good Look Likes (WGLL) framework, to assess how effectively an organisation is using digital technologies. Going forward this will help to provide assurance for executive colleagues, identify gaps in structures and help teams prioritise areas for improvement.

We have welcomed the Digital Clinical Safety Strategy and worked with the National Digital Clinical Safety team, to support the new ‘train the trainer’ programme, to ensure that all clinicians are taking proactive steps to prevent avoidable harm when introducing technologies across the NHS.

We have also recently set up a London Shared Decision-Making Council (SDMC) to bring together nursing and midwifery colleagues from a diverse range of digital roles at point of care to share, discuss and debate relevant clinical and operational transformation projects. This group is keen to use the WGLL framework to measure success within their areas.

Our priorities for 2023

As Digital Nurse leaders we look forward to continuing our collaboration in 2023, to drive forward both the national and regional agendas. Having a nationally supported, regionally led and locally delivered approach provides an effective structure for us to continue working in partnership with the OneLondon team supporting the vision of joined-up health and care.

We have recently received the nursing digital maturity data that provides a rich source of information about how nurses are using clinical systems across London. As a network this year we will be looking at this in detail and how the insights it provides fit with the work we are doing with WGLL and working with the national  Blueprinting team to create documents, so that clinical teams can share learning. Sharing this data widely through the networks will improve the way we deliver care and meet the needs of the London population.

We will inevitably continue the great work achieved in 2022, but there will also be several key areas of focus. As a group the CNIOs will:

  • Continue to contribute to the year long Phillips Ives Review aimed at ensuring our workforce is equipped for the future with access to the knowledge, skills and education required to deliver safe digitally enabled care in this ever-changing digital space.
  • Support work to reduce the increased documentation burden that nurses are reporting following EPR implementations – while supporting safe practice.
  • Continue to create and support the virtual wards programme across London, allowing people to get the care they need at home, safely rather than being in hospital. It will be important that we fully understand the challenges around upskilling staff in these new ways of working.
  • Support organisations across London as they ‘Go-live’ with their Electronic Patient Record (EPR) implementations.
  • Work collaboratively to bring together nursing, midwifery, mental health and community digital teams to transform the care we deliver.

How to get involved

Following the huge success of the Re-Wired Digital Nursing Summit, we will be holding this again in March 2023. This time it will be held over two days so we can fit everyone in! This is a great opportunity for nurses and midwives working or interested in digital transformation to come along and see some of the fantastic work we are doing in this ever-expanding space.

My thanks has to go to the London CNIOs for their continued hard work and support. The best is yet to come, bring on 2023!

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