To help NLAG to overcome its financial crisis, we were commissioned to develop a strategy to show how digital transformation could take them into a high quality, sustainable future.
In the autumn of 2019, NLaG’s operating plan indicated deterioration in its financial performance with a projected out-turn of £58.9m deficit. The Trust was already under financial and quality special measures.
NLaG is the largest provider of acute care in Northern Lincolnshire. It serves a population of more than 450,000 people.
The Trust identified that the way out of the financial crisis was through digital transformation and innovation. This would, it reasoned, be key to achieving its ambitions to deliver a more integrated and sustainable health service for its local patient population.
We were commissioned to co-produce a new Digital Strategy. The aim of this strategy was to identify the key principles and ambitions for health and care transformation. And how this could be enabled through digital technology, in the next three to five years.
The high-level strategic document would include an over-arching vision of the collective ambitions for digital transformation at the Trust. It would set out the key principles and priorities to underpin future developments and next steps, and a roadmap of recommendations for the Trust.
We carried out extensive engagement and collaboration with individuals across the Trust and the wider ICS footprint. We then delivered a comprehensive and achievable high-level digital strategy. The strategy will facilitate collaborative healthcare delivery and help to drive out the short and long-term efficiencies required at the Trust. Ultimately it will improve patient outcomes and quality of care.
The timing of the research meant that the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges. SCW still managed to deliver engagement activities but online using innovative delivery methods to gather views on the future digital direction of the Trust. Activities included a Trust-wide online survey, collecting over one-hundred responses, six group interviews, and two workshops with over thirty participants. The new format MS Teams workshop initiatives were well attended by key Trust and community representatives and received really positive feedback.
The findings highlighted that the current digital and IT infrastructure at the Trust required improvement. This was due to a historical lack of dedicated investment, limited interoperability, duplicated activity and misalignment between strategic ambitions.
The Digital Strategy developed by SCW identified a number of digital themes and strategic horizons and set out a roadmap of recommendations for digital transformation at the Trust. Recommendations included commitment to investing in digital infrastructure, establishing robust technologies, and digital solutions to reduce duplication and paper use. Results will enable staff to work flexibly to deliver the best possible care for their patients and help individuals to better manage their own health.