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Staff urged to help plan digital-ready NHS

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By Angela Sharda
6 December 2017

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Digital experts want staff to tell them what they need to  boost their skills as part of a £6m investment.

NHS Digital, NHS England  and Health Education England are running a consultation.

They want to know what kind of support employees need to get digitally-savvy and how systems can get up  speed to help them.

The consultation includes online workshops this month to get as many views as possible.

Digital experts want staff to tell them what they need to  boost their skills as part of a £6m investment.

NHS Digital, NHS England  and Health Education England are running a consultation.

They want to know what kind of support employees need to get digitally-savvy and how systems can get up  speed to help them.

The consultation includes online workshops this month to get as many views as possible.

Digital readiness

Organisers said: ‘We want to hear from the widest possible cross-section of health and care professionals about what is needed to help improve the digital readiness of those who work in our health and care system.’

They are urging managers to spread the word so they hear from the people they call the ‘lost tribes’. 

These are ‘those digital experts who we don't usually hear from, you might be a nurse, a physio, a surgeon or a porter, a GP, a practice nurse or receptionist, an IT director, helpdesk specialist or a medical records coder, a clerk or a finance director  -the key is you have digital expertise.’

Next year, clinical staff with different levels of digital skills will be asked for their views.

'Truly transformative'

The consultation findings will help planners decide how to develop its £6m  Building a Digital Workforce plan over the next four years.

Nic Fox, NHS Digital’s director of provider digitisation and programmes said: ‘The learning from this consultation has the potential to be truly transformative. It's amassing an incredible wealth of experience, ideas and knowledge, and the more responses that are submitted, the greater the pool of knowledge will be.’

In October, a National Audit Office report into the WannaCry virus  said it could have been prevented if the NHS had followed basic IT security. An estimated 19,000 appointments were cancelled and five acute trusts diverted patients to other A&Es because of the cyber attack  in May which disrupted 34% of trusts.

Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said it was a ‘relatively unsophisticated attack’ and warned there  of the potential of more sophisticated digital attacks. 

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