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Digital, Data and Technology

Developing digital capabilities that support people’s health and wellbeing, and enabling the workforce to deliver best care, underpins all elements of our ICS Five Year System Strategic Plan. This section focuses on our system-wide and regional digital strategy and programme, which has seen significant progress in many areas in the last few years working across ever more organisations. Yet we have much more to do to meet the challenges of making it easier for people and practitioners to access information on health and care needs and self-care at the point of care. This reaches beyond our borders across the East of England and further afield. Our digital programme will enable many of the benefits that we want to deliver across the system that will drive better outcomes for people in Suffolk and North East Essex, and will create an environment that:

  • Reduces the burden on clinicians and staff so they can focus on people
  • Enables people to have the tools to access information and services directly
  • Ensures information can be safely accessed, wherever it is needed
  • Aids the improvement of patient safety across the NHS
  • Improves workforce productivity with digital technology

The Story Behind the Ambition

Lived Experience


Digital through Covid

Sharing records

Digital exclusion

Single care records


Taking time to get digital innovation right

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Digital exclusion for older people

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Online GP access

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Asking people how they want to communicate

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SNEE ICS Annual Digital Report 2021/2022

We are delighted to launch the SNEE ICS Annual Digital Report 2021/22. The report provides an overview of the achievements and challenges of the digital programme over the past 12-24 months and reflects on the accelerated transformation of digital services through Covid. The Annual Digital Report is available as an e-flipbook and pdf  (please click on images below to view). Click play to watch the accompanying video!




The approach adopted in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS, with local government, NHS and other key partners working together for the benefit of the people in our area, has enabled us to think differently, and work differently.

We are focused on defining and adopting standards and best practice alongside coordinating investment. These include a common information governance framework, standard and shared capability operating models. Local innovation and ideas will continue to be shared as well as standards, core architecture principles (the equipment) and cyber security controls to protect our systems. The digital workforce came together in 2018 to develop our approach to priorities across the east of England, starting with a mutually support and learning network.

To progress this within Suffolk and North East Essex we developed a nationally recognised approach to system leadership and a governance model which we have been putting in place during 2019/20, and will continue to develop further over the coming years. This has already progressed a coordinated approach to investment, has in August 2019 developed into a more robust East Accord Partnership for the region and will create an investment case for our health and care record programme that benefits all partners across the East.

Our digital approach within our ICS and across the east are aligned. It means we can progress collectively – and also recognise that we are working at different paces because of each of our natures and histories – so that:

  • People and practitioners have easy access to relevant information
  • People and practitioners are provided useful information
  • Information provides people, our practitioners and the wider public sector value

We aspire to digital capabilities operating seamlessly across our services and to support people by specifically enabling the following:

  • People able to use their health and care records to look after themselves, with good support.
  • Joining up care more effectively.
  • More precise intervention.
  • Better population health management.
  • Research for development of new treatments and pathways for care.

By 2024 we will ensure:

  • That all health and care professionals involved in a person’s care have secure access in near real-time to a comprehensive care record and care plans, comprising the relevant individual level information they need to inform their care decisions, when and where they need it, fed from local systems.
  • That solutions are based on open standards to create a common record for an individual regardless of the source systems1 contributing to that record.
  • That de-identified information from the records is being used to support the delivery of population health management approaches.
  • That we demonstrate the ways in which we have engaged and worked with the public.
  • That people and in particular carers are empowered to manage their own care through having access to their own health and care records as well as coordinated ways for people to look after themselves accessing clinical support and localised signposting information where necessary.

Many of these capabilities exist already in pockets or a few organisations – but none are system-wide at this stage, or sustainable in their current form. We will work with partners to scale existing capabilities wherever appropriate, developing new operating models, and the coordination of investment priorities. We will progress our work, focussing on supporting those who can, to help accelerate partners.

Our four agreed priority outcomes now follow:

Enabler 1: All health and care professionals are easily able to access relevant and timely information at the point of care.

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Enabler 2: All people in Suffolk and North East Essex are easily able to access key information about their care digitally.

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Enabler 3: People involved in health and care can easily access useful information and services digitally.

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Enabler 4: People have better outcomes as a direct result of near-real time insight gathered from easy and useful access to information.

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As we progress this work, the definition of a Digital Health and Care system becomes ever more important

“A dynamic network of digitally enabled patients, citizens, clinicians, partner organisations and things interacting with each other to improve outcomes, experience and cost.

The health and care ecosystem enables each participant to easily and cost effectively integrate their capabilities and the capabilities of others to co-ordinate care around the needs of the individuals and society at large”

We will know we are making a difference because we will see:
  • Records will be shared and available wherever the patient presents, meaning we can provide safer and more efficient care
  • Greater availability and use of range of apps and online advice
  • Higher levels of digital health literacy and tackling digital health exclusion in people from deprived and excluded communities
  • Digital capabilities in place for booking and carrying out online appointments
  • An increase in options for virtual outpatient appointments, identifying which specialities systems to prioritise, working towards removing the need for up to a third of face-to-face visits
  • An increase in uptake of online booking systems, primary care appointments delivered via phone and video consultation, and patients ordering repeat prescriptions online
  • More effective services through reduction and change in case mix of appointments allocated in primary care through the use of care navigation
  • More integrated services

Case Studies – how we are making progress across Suffolk & North East Essex

Case Study – Shared Care Records

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Case Study – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

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Case Study – Peoples Experiences of Digital through Covid

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Case Study - Digital Ethics Charter

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Case Study - Digital Inclusion

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Case Study - Remote Care/Telehealth - Dementia Awareness App

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Case Study - Record Once, Share Insight - project ROSI

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Relevant plans and strategies


NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board
Joint forward Plan


Essex County Council
Digital Strategy for Essex


Ipswich and East Suffolk
Alliance Delivery Plan

North East Essex 
Alliance Delivery Plan

West  Suffolk
Alliance delivery Plan

NHS Trusts

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
ESNEFT Strategy 2019-24

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
Strategic Plan 2023-28

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Digital strategy 2020-24

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Our Strategy, our people, our Trust 2020-25

City, District and Borough Council

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