Guest Blog: Reflecting on a year of working together in partnership

rsz james hawkinsI wanted to take this opportunity to share an update with you all on the work Tracey Watson and her Innovation & Partnerships team have been undertaking for NHS Digital with our strategic partner techUK.

​I recently attended a review of the achievements that our strategic partnership has accomplished during its first year, with Julian David, Chief Executive at techUK. It was an opportunity for us to reflect on the success of the partnership, how it has transformed the way NHS Digital and industry are working together and how it is helping both industry and NHS Digital to be able to better plan for the opportunities and manage the risk that come with running a such a large digital health programme of work.

It was great to hear from NHS Digital’s Nosober Latif and techUK’s Ben Moody that, during the past 12 months, positive steps have been taken by both parties to establish our collaborative approach. As a result, our organisation is recognising the value of input from industry by enabling industry knowledge and expertise to shape and inform our work. It was also refreshing to hear that it’s not just us that are benefiting from the partnership, but industry too. They are finding it easier to work with us and feel that we are being much clearer and consistent with our engagement across our delivery agenda. I am hopeful that it demonstrates that NHS Digital are ‘open for business’ and we are listening to both our suppliers and our customers to help us evolve.

I spoke to Shane Tickell, CEO of IMS MAXIMS, about the changes the partnership is delivering, and it was refreshing to hear his positive thoughts. He thinks that in his experience over the last 20 years, the engagement with industry is at an all-time high. It is highly welcomed, productive and important to have this dialogue and he hopes very much that it continues. He believes the benefits are real for companies big and small; to remain relevant and to develop a partnership approach to provide the best possible systems to deliver for the needs of all of our customers, now and the future.

It has been a busy 12 months working across our entire portfolio of programmes. We have completed 27 joint events with techUK with over 1600 delegates attending. We have run 7 market consultations that have informed commercial plans and activities.

We have established 3 joint initiatives in the areas of Cyber Security, Pharmacy and Medicines and the Supplier Information Exchange – a digital self-service for suppliers to interact with NHS Digital.

Looking forward towards the next 12 months, we aim to launch the new beta of the Supplier Information Exchange for Industry in Spring, work with SMEs and start-ups to think about how we can address barriers into the health market and create a system where innovation, adoption and diffusion is supported whilst horizon scanning technology advances.

I’m excited about how this new way of working can help NHS Digital work with Industry and our wider health and social care partners, to deliver the digital transformation needed across health and social care and help industry gain a much clearer insight into what the NHS needs both now and in the future.

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