Digital Health Intelligence has released its latest snapshot report, a digital maturity assessment review of integrated care systems (ICSs) which presents a strategic overview of digital maturity and budget allocations across NHS ICSs.
Levelling up digital maturity continues to be a key focus for the NHS, evident in NHS England’s 2022/23 Priorities, where a core level of digitisation was identified for ICSs.
The 2023 Digital Maturity Assessment (DMA) programme, commissioned by NHSE in July 2022, will enable the tracking of year-on-year improvements in digital maturity across the NHS, the snapshot report highlights.
Annual assessments will allow health and care organisations to measure their progress towards the core capabilities set out in What Good Looks Like (WGLL) and identify the areas they need to prioritise to achieve their digital transformation goals.
The report delves into the WGLL Framework and the 2023 DMA programme, including the ICS DMA scores. It highlights that North East and North Cumbria ICS has the highest DMA score of 3.3, and both Integrated Care Northamptonshire and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS have the lowest score of 1.8.
The scores are based on performance across the seven dimensions of the WGLL framework: Well led, Ensure smart foundations, Safe practice, Support people, Empower citizens, Improve care, and Healthy populations.
Most and least digitally mature ICSs
As well as looking at ICS capital departmental expenditure limits (CDEL) and ICS budgets by region, the report highlights the most digitally mature and least digitally mature ICSs.
It states that all five of the least digitally mature ICSs are concentrated in the Midlands, while the five most digitally mature ICSs each hail from separate regions across the UK.
The combined budgets of these top five ICSs make up 20.2% of the £7.4 billion total CDEL, more than double the share of the lowest five who make up just 7.4%, the report adds.
From the analysis of ICS Digital Maturity Assessment scores, the report concludes that the digital maturity of the NHS remains relatively low, with fewer than 29% of the 42 ICSs scoring above 2.5 on the DMA scale.
There is significant variability in both ICS budget allocation and digital maturity within and across regions, with the report recommending that a holistic analysis, considering factors beyond budgets, is essential for influencing DMA scores.
The electronic patient record (EPR) Snapshot Report 2023 is next in line to be published by Digital Health Intelligence in December.