Developing a strategy for digital clinical safety in the NHS
We supported the development and implementation of NHSX's digital clinical safety strategy by carrying out a consultation to gather insights from key stakeholders.
NHSX and partner organisations wanted to develop a digital clinical safety strategy to support its vision of the NHS being the safest digital system in the world.
There has never been greater demand for digital health and care services. However, as digital provision grows so do the associated risks to patient and staff safety.
NHSX’s strategy – a joint initiative between NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England, and NHS Improvement – aimed to improve the safety of digital technologies in health and care, as well as to identify and promote the use of digital technologies as solutions to long-standing patient safety problems.
To support the strategy development and implementation, NHSX appointed Kaleidoscope Health and Care to carry out a formal consultation process to acquire the insights of a range of stakeholders. This covered the early testing of ideas through to the start of the implementation phase.
Our main role was to raise awareness of the strategy and engage a large, diverse group of stakeholders from all settings of health and care, as well as from industry, innovation, government and others.
We brought stakeholders into the process through interactive workshops, digital surveys, and interviews. This approach was used to understand stakeholders’ concerns about and ideas for digital clinical safety.
The Kaleidoscope team themed and synthesised outputs from the engagement activities, and produced a concise report of the findings, including a set of recommendations which were adopted in full by NHSX.
Throughout the process, the Kaleidoscope team worked closely and collaboratively with the digital clinical safety team at NHSX, ensuring stakeholder voices were represented during the crucial stages of the strategy’s development.
Following the publication of the digital clinical safety strategy, Kaleidoscope supported an implementation event with more than 80 stakeholders from across health and care. This continued to raise awareness, build community and enabled participants to explore what the newly released strategy meant for their organisations and contexts.
Kaleidoscope conducted insightful interviews and informative surveys as well as leading highly interactive and engaging digital events. Their support benefited both the strategy development and the formation of a nascent digital clinical safety community.
Dr Kelsey Flott, Deputy Director of Patient Safety (Mission 4), NHSX, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College London
The open and inclusive approach and process considerably raised the awareness and profile of the digital clinical safety strategy and brought together and strengthened the digital clinical safety community.
More than 200 people were engaged and attendees rated the stakeholder workshops very highly. Participants particularly valued being involved in the design of national policy, as well as the chance to build relationships with a broad range of stakeholders.
The NHSX team reported that the consultation had a huge impact on the development of the digital clinical strategy which has been very well received by the safety community. The consultation also introduced the NHSX team to new groups of safety experts who offered new and relevant insights.
NHSX is now part of the NHS Transformation Directorate at NHS England.