Improving staff and patient experience through technology

To support our Trust Strategy for 2019-2022, we are putting a big focus on digital transformation. Increasing and developing the Trust's use of digital technology aims to improve experiences for both patients and staff, while supporting enhanced quality of care and increasing efficiency.

Digital technology is increasingly recognised as a major enabler of change and transformation. We're working on a series of projects aiming to deliver exceptional care, efficiently, through the use of digital technology and information.

We're one of just a handful of NHS providers to be awarded national Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) money to help kick-start our digital transformation plans. GDE trusts and their fast follower partners are expected to deliver improvements in the quality of care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information.

Through digital maturity, we aim to improve access and outcomes for people with mental and physical health conditions, supporting them to take more control over their recovery and live life well. Funding of £3 million from NHS England will support us to develop our workforce, digital systems, processes and information between now and March 2020.

We are working alongside Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a series of projects grouped under five themes: 

  • Being paper-free at the point of care
  • Creating an efficient and agile workforce
  • Crossing boundaries through interoperability and shared records
  • Developing digital channels to improve engagement, choice and access
  • Being driven by intelligence

Digital transformation will bring significant benefits for staff, patients, service users and carers. These will differ from project to project, but include the following high-level benefits:

  • Increasing our use of technology will improve quality of care and patient experience. It will also increase efficiency, saving time and reducing costs.
  • Improved technology will support effective whole person care through integration of systems enabling information sharing across teams and with partner organisations.
  • Increased use of technology will improve access to services and enable people to better self-manage their conditions.
  • Introduction of new technology will support staff to work more agilely, making effective use of time and resource.
  • Making data and information more accessible and readily available will support informed decision-making.


RiO – the electronic patient record system is now being used by operational teams and services across the Trust. Mobile solutions mean RiO can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, allowing data to be captured at the point of care.

Electronic prescribing and medicines administration will contribute to our key objective of providing safe and quality services. The new system will be rolled out to inpatient wards in 2019. It aims to minimise transcription and medication errors and release time for care.

Centralised printing and mailing distribution will reduce mailing costs by routing patient letter printing through to an external print and distribution centre. Following a successful 12-month pilot in one service, wider rollout is being planned.

Skype for Business and video conferencing facilities will enable agile working and reduce the need for travel, increasing efficient use of staff time and minimising our Trust carbon footprint.

Electronic clinical correspondence allows GP practices to receive electronic copies of documents previously sent by fax or post directly into their clinical information systems. This will reduce paper and mailing costs.

Online psychological therapy is being introduced to help manage demand and offer patients a choice. Initial data and patient satisfaction ratings are proving positive.

Digital patient communication – a pilot in the St Helens Musculoskeletal Service is increasing efficiency and reducing 'do not attend' rates while providing patients with information relating to appointments, messages from the service and links to resources and self-management advice.

Patient-held record will enable service users to contribute to their own health and wellbeing record and have digital access to their care records. This is being rolled out across all boroughs.

Information management and predictive analytics – a new data warehouse and business intelligence tools are already being used across non-clinical functions. The second phase will incorporate clinical reporting and analysis. We’re also adopting advanced predictive analytics and caseload management tools in some community mental health services.

Shared care records will enable health and social care professionals to securely share patient information across organisations, meaning patients will only need to tell their story once.