Joint Forward Plan Appendix 12

Appendix 12: Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System Digital, Data and Technology Strategy 2022 – 2025

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Digital, Data and Technology Strategy 2022 – 2025


Empowering our people

Time and time again people tell us that they want to tell their story to us just once, regardless of where they receive their care. Where information doesn’t flow with the people, it gives the impression of a disjointed health and care system that isn’t designed around the people that use it. We want to change that. We need to change that. Ensuring that we can join up data from multiple systems in near real-time will ensure that we can deliver safer, better-quality care. It will mean that our people can be confident that when decisions about their care are made, it is done with all the information available. This will lead to better health outcomes and a more positive experience when people interact with us.

We also need to give our people the opportunities to actively manage their health and care needs. Studies show that people who are empowered in their own health and care delivery once again have better health outcomes1.

Empowering our staff

We want to empower our staff and clinicians. We want to give them the best possible tools with access to the right information at the right time to allow them to make the best-informed decisions, to reduce their burden, and free up ‘Time to Care’. We need to do this across our entire health and care system. If we do not, we simply will not achieve our ICS ambition of reducing health inequalities for our population.

We also want to support our staff in the development of their digital skills. We want our staff to feel confident in the use of digital and data in care delivery and we want them to feel they have a voice in the design of our services. We want innovation to come from our staff who are on the frontline as they know best what their needs are.

We also want to ensure that we recognise digital and clinical informatics as a formal profession, without which our services cannot be delivered. To this end we have already formed supporting programmes to encourage our staff and practitioners to develop their digital skills and confidence.

Collaborating with our Partners

We can only achieve our goals through collaboration between all our partners. Designing and implementing new ways of working, away from organisational silos, is key to our success. We have made great strides towards that in recent years and our collective response to the global pandemic has accelerated our ability to operate as an integrated system.

Digital has played an integral part in that, enabling us to share information about our population to manage our services at the most critical time in our modern history. Digital also allowed us to continue to deliver health and care services in entirely new ways with the adoption of remote care solutions. We need to build and improve on that experience.

Digital First, not Digital Only

We do understand that digital is not always the answer. Which is why we commit to digital first, not digital only when we design our services. We will embrace the opportunities to engage with our diverse communities through the voluntary sector especially, to continue to develop our digital services with users at the very centre of the design. We know that for many people, the accessibility of remote support and care holds enormous value to their wellbeing, their recovery as well as daily living, and that this in turn offers us opportunities to support many more people outside of hospitals, so we have more time and space for those who really need our care. This will require new clinical models of care and multi-disciplinary teams operating in this way and will enable our health and care system to become more resilient to changing needs.

We will continue to review and test the digital services we provide to continuously improve, develop and replace where these are not providing value.

Maximising our potential

Much of what we will do in the coming years is not new. It is about optimising on the investments we have already made and maximising their potential. It is about working with our staff and our partners to develop those new operating models for seamless transactions of information and services. It is about enhancing the collaborative culture we have started to build. It is about integrating health and care data to improve the health outcomes of our people.

With the new Health and Care Act 2022 providing us with the legislative framework under which we will be able to improve our joined-up care models, our plans to transform our services for the better of our population by investing in digital and technology to improve the collection, sharing and analysis of health and care data will enable us to build the very best foundations for modern, personalised and preventative health and care services for the people of Suffolk and North East Essex.

Executive Summary

In general, population trends are leading to more elderly, frail and complex care needs amongst our population than ever before. According to the Office of National Statistics, in 50 years’ time, there are likely to be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over – a population roughly the size of London. Hospital admissions and GP contacts are increasing and it is evident that radically new models of care are required in order for the system to be able to respond to the pressures.

How the health and care system now transforms its services is underpinned by the principles of placed based and citizen centric care. These principles are the golden thread running through our Digital, Data and Technology Strategy. Within our Integrated Care System, organisations inclusive of the NHS, Social Care, local government and third sector are collaborating to act as a cohesive and singular system, with citizens moving throughout the health and care system in a much more efficient and effective way. To support these new models of Integrated Care, it is critical that information can flow between the care settings to enable more seamless, safe and timely care provision.

To deliver our mission to ensure we enable an environment in which our ICS partners can collaborate to design and transform our health and care services with the adoption of digital and data technologies, improving the health outcomes of our population, we have set out six strategic goals. These goals are to be delivered through a framework of eight principles whilst being underpinned by our values. Once implemented, these goals will deliver multiple benefits to our citizens, staff, care providers and operations.

Our Digital, Data and Technology Strategy at a glance

Our digital mission, goals, principles and values

Our values:

  • Courageous
  • Community-focused
  • Creative
  • Compassionate
  • Cost-effective
  • Collaborative

Our principles:

  • Well led
  • Smart foundations
  • Safe practice
  • Support people
  • Empower citizens
  • Digital care
  • Enabling insights
  • Sustainable change

Our goals:

  • Invest in core technology
  • Support our workforce
  • Deliver more care in the community
  • Citizens at the centre
  • Make best use of the information assets we hold
  • Strengthen and maintain trust

Our mission:

  • To ensure we enable an environment in which our ICS partners can collabrate to design and transform our health and care services.
Benefits we want to achieve

We want to achieve the following benefits via our core technology (which we commit to being flexible, accessible and resilient, utilising secure platforms) and our values, which are listed above.

Benefits for our citizens:

  • Become more active partners in their own health and care
  • Receive care at home or closer to home
  • Better informed care teams who can offer more personalised care
  • More flexible options to access care through multiple channels
  • Advice and guidance, remote care and personalised digital care services available to all
  • Support to address the digital divide; digital accessibility, digital poverty and digital literacy where it is needed most

Benefits for our care providers:

  • ‘Leveling up’ to core capabilities that support staff
  • Improved access to longitudinal care records for safer clinical care
  • More clinical decision support
  • Linked data enabling integrated care, coordinated care and care management personalisation
  • Smoother transitions between teams and care settings
  • Stronger specialist networks and collaboratives

Benefits for our staff:

  • Have access to more flexible, resilient and reliable systems
  • Can access more digital training with flexibility built in
  • More opportunities to develop digital skills through programme engagements
  • Recognition and support to the digital profession
  • Access to better quality and richer datasets to inform decision making
  • More automation to remove time spent on manual processing

Our logistics and planning:

  • Improved visibility on availability, accessibility and use of resources
  • Timely and accessible insight enabling operational response to changing need and landscape
  • Ability to assess trends and divert resources accordingly
  • Insight into novel problems and informing new ways of working that make the most of our resources, options and needs of people in Suffolk and north east Essex

Introduction and background

Much of our focus at present is on recovery from the past two years where we have dealt with the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and its impact for both our people and our system.

Whilst the pace of progress within our digital capabilities continues to accelerate, we must take stock of where we are now and look at the legacy of the digital advancements made during this period. We must acknowledge the breadth and depth of change our system has and will continue to make, and the reliance we now have on our digital infrastructure. We must also allow ourselves to look to the future with great optimism and enthusiasm and develop ways of working that enable us to truly explore the opportunities that the new Integrated Care System (ICS) collaboration models provide us with. This document outlines the vision for the ICS and describes who our partners are and their role within the transition programme.

We acknowledge that each of our partner organisations have their own digital strategies in place, designed to meet the needs of their organisations and the people and services they serve. This ICS Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Strategy is not looking to replace those. It is designed to build a web of opportunities for shared learning, shared resources and shared outcomes.

This strategy is designed to support our partners within the ICS to work towards an effective real-time digital ecosystem which is underpinned by shared standards and aligned governance that will deliver better information flow, research, data collection and decision-making to improve the health of our population. Our plans have been developed so we can improve citizens’ and users’ relationship with the NHS, the care sector, and the third sector. Health and care professionals involved in a person’s care will have safe and secure access to near real-time information to improve the care we deliver to our citizens by linking data from across the health, care and community continuum for a comprehensive view of the individuals we look after to support joined up health and care across our services.

We will use data to understand our current, and predict our future, health and care needs to then plan and deliver proactive models of care to meet the needs across the ICS, allowing us to target our resources within our ICS to support improving population health today and in the future and reducing health inequalities. Digital is no longer an option or a nice to have vehicle in care delivery. It sits at the very core of what we do. It enables us to re-design our services in ways in which it was never possible before. Naturally, we remain inclusive in our service delivery and will always look at alternative ways in which our citizens can engage with us should access to digital services be challenging. We will ensure Digital First, not Digital Only.

Suffolk and North East Essex ICS is fortunate in that we have a long history of collaboration between our organisations and we have enjoyed exploring collective priorities and use of resources for several years now. We are in fact one of the most mature Integrated Care Systems in the country. This provides us with a very strong foundation on which to build upon and one of our ocuses over the coming years is to continue to optimise the use of our existing investments to benefit the many within our system.

This DDaT Strategy is only in its infancy. It has been developed during a time where the health and care system was experiencing considerable pressures and as a result our approach to engagement has had to be tailored to accommodate this. Whilst we have sought to seek the views of our colleagues across the whole system, we acknowledge that we still wish to reach out to others. Our plans reflect this; in the first year of the new ICS we have put great emphasis on building relationships, formulating more detailed plans and working collaboratively to develop a digital vision that truly meet the needs of our whole system. This includes ensuring that our plans are aligned with the ICS strategies that are currently in development, such as our plans for our Estates, People Function and Finance and Procurement.

Our Digital, Data & Technology (DDaT) Strategy (2022-25) will be a living, evolving document that enables us to respond and adapt as our local landscape and technological capability does. We will publish our plans and our progress through many lenses, which will support broad and ongoing engagement, education and awareness and to show where this matters most. We will tailor these messages so that our plans can be easily understood, whether these are shared with staff or citizens.

Our digital mission and goals

Our mission is to ensure we enable an environment in which our ICS partners can collaborate to design and transform our health and care services with the adoption of digital and data technologies, improving the health outcomes of our population.

To achieve our mission, we have developed six strategic digital goals for the ICS.

We aim to:

  • Ensure we invest in core digital technologies so that our staff have resilient, flexible and secure technology they can work with; and allowing our system to be adaptable to the changing landscape that we operate in
  • Support our workforce so they have the right skills and confidence to use, design and deliver services with digital, data and technology advancements whilst providing our leadership with the tools they need to effectively enable our strategy
  • Use digital to enable more of our care services to be delivered in the community or in people’s homes, in partnership with our citizens
  • Make sure we put our citizens at the centre of our digital service design, making it easy for them to engage in new models of care and ensuring we are actively addressing inequality and inequity
  • Create an environment where we can make best use of the information assets we hold to
    • enable us to consider how we use our resources, where best to allocate those resources and amend and tailor our services according to demand
    • improve the health care we deliver to our citizens by linking data from across the health, care and community continuum for a comprehensive view of the individuals we look after to support joined up health and care across services
    • use data to understand our current, and predict our future, health and care needs to then plan and deliver proactive models of care to meet the needs across the ICS, allowing us to target our resources within our ICS to support improving population health today and in the future and reducing health inequalities
  • Deliver these goals in a manner that continues to strengthen and maintain trust, with digital inclusion and safe practice at the forefront of our user-centred design ethos.

These strategic goals have been developed to align with the eight Higher Ambitions set by the ICS thus ensuring our digital, data and technology services are designed to support our overall aim to reduce health inequalities and inequities experienced within our population.

This strategy has been framed to ensure we meet these goals by adopting eight core principles across our digital programme. We want to focus our resources on identifying and delivering core outcomes to address some of the key challenges we experience within our system.

Our priorities are based on local needs at Neighbourhood, Place and at Integrated System level. However, we have not developed these without consideration for the needs of the wider communities within which we operate in and have looked to our neighbours within East of England and the national policy for further guidance.

By delivering our goals, we will achieve the desired benefits and support our mission to enable an environment in which our ICS partners can collaborate to design and transform our health and care services with the adoption of digital and data technologies, improving the health outcomes of our population.


Throughout this document we will consistently use the following terms with the described meaning:

  • People – when we talk about People, we mean our entire population including our staff.
  • Whole System – when we talk about whole system, we mean the healthcare providers, care providers and voluntary sector within our ICS.

Our core principles and our values

We will deliver our strategic goals using eight core principles, based on the NHS What Good Looks Like Framework which have evolved with local partners:

Well led

We will ensure we will be Well Led, having the right leadership and governance models in place that enable partnership working

Smart foundations

We will invest in Smart Foundations providing our staff with the tools they need to effectively and securely collect, analyse and share data. We will focus on getting the right things right

Safe practice

We will design and deliver our digital and data services to be safe and secure from threats such as cyber-crime. We value but do not take for granted the trust that people have in how we manage their sensitive information and we are diligently committed to safe and ethical practice in an innovative world.

Support people

We will create training and development programmes that will enhance the digital skills of our entire workforce, including leadership at all levels, digital data and technology professionals as well as our wider workforce

Empower citizens

We will empower people, creating digital channels of communication for our citizens to better engage with our services and to become more active partners in their health and care delivery

Digital care

We will optimise and interconnect digital channels and will explore and adopt new ways of delivering digital care, using digital advancements

Enabling insights

We will enable insight. We will invest in data platforms and analytical tools to support an intelligence function to be designed so we can truly use the data we hold to build an understanding of our citizens needs and our resources and design our services accordingly

Sustainable change

We will look for ways to collaborate and use our resources collectively to ensure we make the best use of the investments we have each individually made to date, sharing those resources with our partners where it makes sense to do so in line with convergence, simplification and deriving value.

Our values

It is important to us that we ensure our digital plans are designed with our values in mind. That way our digital services are created with the same ethos as our overall ICS operating model. Throughout this strategy we have highlighted how our plans align with our values.

  • We are brave and have the moral courage to do the right thing
  • We are committed to enabling equity and justice and tackling the deep inequalities faces by people and communities
  • We are committed to understanding our local population and meeting their needs
  • We are focused on our local places and the assets in our local communities
  • We are innovative and committed to finding and implementing creative and shared solutions to problems
  • We are open to continuously learning from one another and the people that we serve
  • We are kind
  • We treat people as individuals
  • We listen to and learn from people and their lived experiences
  • We are inclusive of all ages
  • We are allies to people facing adversity and disadvantage and we are all accountable for enabling health equality
  • We are transparent and accountable for the decisions that we make and the way that we make them
  • We hold one another accountable for using all of our resources efficiently
  • We are committed to delivering social value in our local communities
  • We believe in altruism and that good relationships are essntial for our success
  • We are ethical and operate with integrity
  • We are fair. We trust one another.
  • We challenge appropriately and treat everyone with respect

Our organisational ecosystem

The full spectrum of partners engaged in the ICS includes NHS Commissioners, NHS Provider Trusts, local government, primary care – GPs, community pharmacists, optometrists and dentists, independent sector providers, voluntary and community sector, public, patient and carer groups and other sectors.

Until now the ICS has not been a statutory function or a body but instead a partnership or ‘coalition of the willing’ that enables integrated working through our three local Alliances in North East Essex, Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk; neighbourhood arrangements including Primary Care Networks and Integrated Neighbourhood teams; and, where useful, across the whole of Suffolk and North East Essex or the East of England.

On 6 July 2021, the Health and Care Bill was published, setting out key legislative proposals to reform the delivery and organisation of health services in England, to promote more joined-up services and to ensure more of a focus on improving health rather than simply providing health care services. The purpose of the Bill is to establish a legislative framework that supports collaboration rather than competition.

Our organisational ecosystem is comprised of:

  • Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Partnership (ICP)
  • Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  • North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance
  • Ipswich and East Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Alliance
  • West Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Alliance
  • Provider collaboratives
  • Primary care networks
  • Integrated neighbourhood teams
  • Essex Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board
ICS Transition Programme

Our ICS Transition Programme has brought stakeholders together to develop plans in preparation for local implementation of the proposals in the Health and Care Bill in 2022. The programme was established following publication of the national ICS Design Framework and the decision by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on ICS Boundaries in late July 2021. From the outset it was agreed to take a ‘whole system’ approach to preparing to implement the new legislation in our ICS.

The Whole System Transition Programme section below provides an overview of our ICS Transition programme demonstrating how the programme has addressed a range of different interlinked aspects of the system each approached with equal importance. The ICS Design Framework (described in the section following the one below) provides a summary of the work undertaken across these different areas and the core concepts at the heart of our ICS design that underpin all of them.

The Health and Care Bill received Royal Assent in April 2022.

A whole system transition programme

Integrated Care Partnership:

  • ICS Partnership development
  • NED roles and development
  • ICS Partnership support


  • North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance
  • Ipswich and East Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Alliance
  • West Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Alliance

Other areas of collaboration:

  • Quality
  • Population health management
  • Public involvement
  • NED development
  • Digital, data and tech
  • People and culture
  • Estates
  • Finance
  • Clinical and professional leadership
  • Districts and boroughs
  • Anchor institutions
  • Health inequalities

Provider collaboratives:

  • NHS provider collaboratives
  • Wider provider collaboratives

VCSE sector

  • VCSE leadership and resilience
  • VCSE design and collaboration

Suffolk local government

  • Alignment – ICP and Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Pan-Suffolk Commissioning, Planning and Integration
  • Co-ordination and leadership – ICSs and SPSL/SCOLT/Programme Boards
  • Suffolk-wide enabling functions
  • Place based working

Essex County Council

  • Representation of ICS Governance
  • Alignment between ICP and HWBB
  • Planning alignment and collaboration
  • Cross Essex Alliance Working
  • Essex-wide commissioning and planning

NHS Integrated Care Board

  • CCG closedown
  • Statutory Board formation
  • NHSEI transition

ICS Design Framework


Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) was one of the first to be established in England building on the earlier work of the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). Since 2016, the STP and then from 2018, the ICS, has brought together the full spectrum of partners responsible for planning and delivering health and care across North East Essex, Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk to ensure shared leadership and joint action to improve the health and wellbeing of the one million people who live locally.

Our Ambitions

The ICS’s primary ambition is ‘Enabling Health Equality for Everyone’ and as a system we are continually ‘Thinking Differently Together’, with an approach that ‘Starts with Why?’. The ICS has eight primary ambitions which were set in 2018. A refresh of the ICS ‘Higher Ambitions’ will follow on from the current refresh of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies currently being undertaken by Health and Wellbeing Boards in Essex and Suffolk.

Our six strategic digital goals are designed to align with the eight Higher Ambitions of the ICS (as detailed below) and will reviewed again once the ICS ambitions have been refreshed.

Higher Ambitions of the ICS
  • Our primary ambition: Reducing health inequalities
  • A healthier life for everyone
  • Emotional wellbeing from the start of life
  • Zero Suicide
  • Earlier diagnosis and treatment for cancer
  • An effective treatment pathway for obesity
  • The best quality of life as we grow older
  • The care and support we need at the end of life
How we are structured

The Health and Care Bill introduces two-part statutory ICSs, comprised of an NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB), responsible for NHS strategic planning and allocation decisions, and an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), responsible for bringing together a wider set of system partners to develop a plan to address the broader health, public health and social care needs of the local population. However, a key premise of ICS policy is that much of the activity to integrate care and improve population health will be driven by commissioners and providers collaborating over smaller geographies within ICSs, often referred to as ‘places’, and through teams delivering services working together on even smaller footprints, usually referred to as ‘neighbourhoods’.

Digital and Data Functions

Out of the 12 core functions of the new Integrated Care Board, two focus on digital:

  • Leading system-wide action on data and digital: working with partners across the NHS and with local authorities to put in place smart digital and data foundations to connect health and care services to put the citizen at the centre of their care.
  • Using joined-up data and digital capabilities to understand local priorities, track delivery of plans, monitor and address unwarranted variation, health inequalities and drive continuous improvement in performance and outcomes.

It is the responsibility of the ICB to create and enable the levers that make this happen.

Place Based Care and local digital delivery

Local ‘place-based’ systems of care involve multiple partnerships, including NHS organisations and the local government, working together to provide integrated care across organisational boundaries to improve the health and wellbeing of their populations.

In Suffolk and North East Essex ICS there are three ‘place-based’ systems of care, called Alliances. Our three Alliances are ‘North East Essex’, ‘West Suffolk’ and ‘Ipswich and East Suffolk’. Each Alliance is responsible for the coordination, planning and delivery of primary medical care, community services, integrated services and personalised care within the place area.

Much of our digital strategy will be delivered at Place level and it is Place where we will see the outcomes we plan to deliver. We continue to collaborate with our Alliances to ensure that our plans align with their local needs and drivers enabling them to confidently transform their services with digital as the enabler.

See Appendix 1 of the Joint Forward Plan for details of the ICS Structure and its component parts.

East Accord

We cannot deliver our strategy in isolation from our neighbours. Therefore, our role in the East of England region continues to play a significant part of our very being and where we can benefit from collaborating even more widely than our own ICS footprint.

Our membership in The East Accord, which is a collaborative network of health and care professionals from the East of England covering 6 ICSs with a focus on digital, data and technology, enables us to extend our digital ecosystem across the ICS boundaries, supporting organisations such as the East of England Ambulance Service and our health and care partners offering services to our citizens.

However, for us to benefit from the opportunities that our collaboration through the East Accord offers, we must continue to invest in our own digital infrastructure, ensuring our citizens receive the best possible care they deserve and our staff have the correct tools to empower them to deliver outstanding care regardless of the organisation they work for.

East Accord Pact
  • we will adopt standards, and use intuitive and flexible technology that joins up effectively.
  • we will design safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information to build trust among our partners and people.
  • we will demonstrate digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine transformation.
  • we will collaborate by default and will support those who can share their experiences and capabilities to enable region wide improvements.
  • we will be avid importers and advocates of best practice
  • we will seek to understand the impact of health inequalities, taking action to achieve genuine equity for all

Quote: Cllr John Spence
‘You cannot escape the role of the shared care record. Best decisions are made when made with the best information and intelligence’.

‘Why would we ever deny ourselves that information and intelligence that other parts of the system hold’

The National Information Board (NIB)’s Personalised Health and Care 2020

The National Information Board Personalised Health and Care 2020[1] framework for action has highlighted that better use of data and technology has the power to improve health, transforming the quality and reducing the cost of health and care services.

Our story to date

In 2019 we stated that our long-term ambitions by 2024 were:

  • All health and care professionals involved in a person’s care will have secure access in near realtime 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.
  • Solutions are based on open standards to create a common record for an individual regardless of the source systems1 contributing to that record.
  • De-identified information from the records is used to support the delivery of population health management approaches.
  • We will demonstrate ways in which we have engaged and worked with the public.
  • 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
We said, we did

Our digital programme has enabled many of the benefits we set out to deliver across the ICS in 2019 which has driven better outcomes for people in Suffolk and North East Essex and created an environment that has:

  • Reduced the burden on clinicians and staff so they can focus on people.
  • Enabled people to have the tools to access information and services directly.
  • Ensured information is safely accessed, wherever it is needed.
  • Aided the improvement of citizen safety across the health and care system.
  • Improved workforce productivity with digital technology
Key projects and milestones
  • Computer-aided dispatch 99 platform has been rehosted in the East of England Ambulance Service without any downtime.
  • Assistive technology launched across Suffolk with 800 wearable devices in place for remote monitoring
  • 36,915 ESNEFT uses of HIE in March 2022
  • 37,897 views of patinets’ records using the Health Information Exchange per month for ESNEFT and NEE Community
  • 1,008,208 people have their GP Summary Care Record with additional information accessible wherever they may be cared for
  • 180,000 telephone consultations and 500 video consultations per month in primary care
  • Secretary of State for Health and Social Care visits Clacton and thanks health and social care staff at Clacton’s £22 million Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC)

View the Video Annual Digital Report, 2021-2022.

Watch a video to learn how technology was utilised during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Goals and Principles

Principle: Be Well Led

We will ensure we will be Well Led, having the right leadership and governance models in place that enable partnership working.

As people, we have all experienced the staggering advancements of Digital, Data & Technology over recent years. It is in every part of our lives, our health and care system and intrinsically linked to our future – although some people remain digitally excluded. To tackle inequity, whilst we make the most of these advancements, we will need to operate on many levels, we need to simplify and mature with a collective focus, and this will require leadership throughout our integrated care system.

Collectively we have progressed well over recent years. We benefit from being the most digitally mature ICS in the East of England and recognise that the opportunities this provides us are staggering. Digital supports recovery, resilience, adaptability and enables the health and care system to be anti-fragile to the changes we will see in the future. We also recognise there remain basic issues that are yet to be addressed. There are still areas of poorly managed, implemented or serviced digital capabilities. We will prioritise the work to address these challenges collectively, to solve difficult and longstanding issues, and to support our staff through these changes. We will ensure this enables more resiliency, efficiency, adaptability and safety for all our people and all of our health and care system.

The challenges we need to overcome

The cultural shift: We must support our leaders to move from simply looking at options for treatment and start to use our rich data assets to shift our focus to preventative care modelling.

  • DDaT is not mainstream – we need to focus on developing leaders to lead adoption into the way we provide healthcare, and enable simple governance that can handle complexity
  • People don’t understand – we need to simplify, create meaningful common direction, definition and purpose
  • People can’t visualise the future – so they are unaware of the changes, and their role within it
  • People are actively disengaged from the digital future when they have poor digital experience or support – it just adds burden
  • Tech is moving fast. At times, we are lacking in the willingness to accept the implications of DDaT change (as well as the benefits), including the implications of tech debt
  • The complexity of different levers that enable good governance across a partnership at various levels creates barriers for collaboration
  • We lack capacity, skills and commitment to support the change and shift the culture
  • Until the ICP is more mature, the ICB Accountability through single board voice or by committee is unclear
To achieve the following outcomes
  • DDaT capability and options becomes fully mainstream, underpinning integrated care
  • All leaders consider the opportunities and challenges as they lead service transformation and delivery of care, and are empowered to act safely, ethically and innovatively
  • ‘What gets done where’ is more clearly defined, reducing duplication, increasing trust and capability and enhancing the ‘Can Do’ and ‘team of teams’ approach, in line with our courageous and collaborative values
  • Collaboration and transparency by default – reduced cost / increased value to the public
  • Levers create the right environment, and enable a ‘tipping point’ – this is the way we do things
  • Culture shift – and increasing system maturity around DDaT as we progress towards the future
  • Comfort with ambiguity – and trust in professionals
  • Long term investment plans and adaptive approaches are agreed, enabling our Strategic Digital Investment and Assurance Board (SDIAB) to drive progress as we move forward
Leadership qualities necessary for the digital era

We asked survey respondents to identity the leadership traits most critical to success in digital transformation.

71% identified adaptability.

48% identified curiosity.

43% identified comfort with ambiguity.

47% identified creativity.

Principle: Smart Foundations

We will invest in Smart Foundations providing our staff with the tools they need to effectively and securely collect, analyse and share data. We will focus on getting the right things right.

Each of our organisations have invested in digital in different ways. We will support our partners to level up on their digital maturity where investment is still needed to meet minimum standards. We will do this by looking at ways in which we can converge our capabilities and work effectively as a system so that we can adopt at pace to achieve the tipping point we aspire to. Therefore, getting the right basics right is important. Where digital immaturity or longstanding issues and deep barriers remain, we will prioritise our efforts to address them.

The challenges we need to overcome
  • Insufficient organisation level investment (people and money) in core capabilities and run costs, and single points of failure alongside legacy management and increasing expectation
  • Capital vs revenue and one-year investments received late in the financial year – the wrong type of money and the wrong time, leading to short-termism, and technology debt
  • Siloed capabilities, recruitment, training and operating – competing with one another for scarce skills and capacity
  • Supplier capability and adaptability, and proprietary / non open / standards-based products
  • Changing national priorities, inconsistent approach to standards and supplier management, lack of clarity of what gets done where and a variable investment profile
  • Differing interpretation of standards, policies and initiatives
  • Increasing un-managed procurement of ‘new tech’ creating peak of burden on teams to ‘connect / support’
  • Variation in data management maturity, approach, skills and capacity
  • Widening exclusion, worsening inequality and inequity
  • Lack of recognition of DDaT as a profession, old-school approach to ‘involving’ IT
  • Our role in tackling climate change, and preparing our health and care system for the environment of the future
  • Outdated compute capability and system accessibility, and worsening tech debt
  • Demands and pressures on our communications tools and capabilities, both between our organisations and staff, and between people and their care
To achieve the following outcomes
  • Increased capability and quality with a long term, sustainable investment profile
  • Time to build or buy and embed appropriately and usefully. Optimisation of what we have and can do now, including national services and capabilities where appropriate
  • Sharing of resources, financial and non-financial, and integration of services brings a range of synergies to the system, allowing us to be more cost effective and open to learning from others will enable
    • workforce and financial synergies
    • better digital transparency and reduced requirements for unnecessary interoperability configurations – e.g. Shared Network Address Space(s)
    • increased virtual computing capability and deliberate movement of our core technologies into and towards the Internet First and Cloud First policies
    • reduction in Unwarranted Variations in Care due to differing digital capabilities
    • Our workforce are supported to work in a hybrid world when we reduce burden and optimise capabilities
  • People will be more engaged with their care and more will be able to self-manage their needs in a way that suits them, and engage with care teams when needed

Principle: Safe Practice

We will design and deliver our digital and data services to be safe and secure from threats such as cyber-crime. We value but do not take for granted the trust that people have in how we manage their sensitive information and we are diligently committed to safe and ethical practice in an innovative world.

In health and care we collect and process a significant amount of data each day. The sensitive nature of this means we must have all the right safeguards in place to protect it. We must do so whilst also allowing our clinicians and staff to share data where appropriate, to work efficiently and effectively whilst enabling innovation.

We rely heavily on our core infrastructure and digital capabilities in every aspect of our work, and its stability is critical to the provision of safe care. This area is increasingly complex in an innovative environment and needs simplifying. We need to take a more mature approach. One size does not fit all. We will adopt more muti-disciplinary rigour where there is inexperience and remove barriers when taking a well-trodden path.

Digital capability is more pervasive than ever before. It is more available, and the value of data is better understood. Added to which, we know this pace of change will only increase. We must maintain a keen focus on our role beyond that of regulation, compliance and risk management to making the difference where it matters most.

The challenges we need to overcome
  • We currently operate in a landscape which is highly regulated but complex, mis-interpreted with variation in each of our approaches to risk acceptance
  • Language and standards are inconsistent between our partners and suppliers and within our organisations, which leads to further complexity when navigating regulation and change
  • Lack of consistency across national policy, and eternally changing national, local and supplier landscape
  • Supplier assurance and ongoing alignment to Digital Technology Assessment Criteria
  • Inability to consider systemic or compound risks and issues due to lack of sufficient trust and transparency across partners
  • Increased threat of cyber-attacks is a reality we cannot overlook
To achieve the following outcomes
  • Enable trust and maturity in using digital, data & technology, and to put in place the Safe Foundations we need.
  • Improved collaboration by removing Information Governance barriers
  • Enhance transparency across and between our partners
  • More secure and stable infrastructure against cyber-attacks, allowing us to continue to use our digital services without unplanned interruptions
  • Adopt Ethical Practice across our ICS and DDaT programmes
  • Create an environment of organisational and professional trust alongside effective governance across our Alliances and the ICS
  • Enable citizens to have control and access of their records
  • Provide transparency for citizens around what is happening with their data
  • Improve sharing of resources and knowledge

This will enable us to progress to next generation capabilities such as remote monitoring, augmented reality and machine learning that will support people in ways previously unimaginable.

Our commitment to Digital Ethics

On Global Ethics Day, at the East Accord Event in 2019, we launched the Digital Ethics Charter. It seeks to galvanise individual commitment beyond regulation, compliance and risk management, to a higher ambition of making a difference where it matters most. Ethics is not a set of problems to solve, it is a coping mechanism to deal with reality. Ethics is about how.

Principle: Support People (Digital Workforce)

We will create training and development programmes that will enhance the digital skills of our entire workforce, including leadership at all levels, digital data & technology professionals as well as our wider workforce.

Delivering modern health and care services requires our leaders, our workforce and our population to have good knowledge and skills in the use of digital and data. There is widespread acknowledgement of the digital skills gap and the need to address, and respond to, the pressing workforce issues that will emerge over the next 3 years. A record number of staff resigned from the NHS in the 3-month period July-Sept 2021 with 3.6% more digital health and care staff resigning in 2021 than any other sector; major factors cited for this were increased workloads and burnout. Improving the general digital skills levels amongst our staff and supporting our digital workforce is key to our overall success.

The challenges we need to overcome
  • Staff are not adequately engaged in the digital agenda
  • Many are frustrated by the digital ecosystem in which we expect them to work
  • Without the right digitally skilled workforce we are unable to achieve our overall goals – digital is key in unlocking our potential
  • Difficulty in recruiting (time, realism about salaries, limited and varied routes depending on organisation type, fixed term roles, shortage in marketplace)
  • Losing resource to each other or competing with one another to recruit
  • Increasing salaries in tech industry, and major programmes
  • Long history of poor investment in currency of skills
  • Lack of professional recognition and support for DDaT workforce
  • Lack of understanding within early decision making about Digital, specifically opportunities and implications
  • DDaT isn’t considered mainstream and therefore doesn’t get the same level of support and investment as other professions within the health and care system
To achieve the following outcomes
  • Digital literacy and confidence in our leaders, in our workforce and across our population. Increased digital confidence, competence and connection across all leadership teams
  • Professionalisation and commitment to ongoing skills for our DDaT workforce
  • A coherent (anti-competitive) narrative to tackle the digital skills problem of supply and demand as a whole system.
  • Being compassionate to our staff to make the most of our talent and teams by supporting people to work across a range of boundaries and disciplines
  • People are encouraged to be digitally literate and confident
  • Better implementation, adoption, utilisation and support for digital capabilities
  • We pool resources and it is easy for us to work together to realise better outcomes
  • We have a long-term plan, and co-produced roadmap for our DDaT workforce in a landscape of dwindling public sector resources and tight budgets against a highly buoyant tech and data sector
  • To secure consistent engagement and an integrated approach across the entire ICS workforce as the inter-play between health and social care workforce models progress
  • To bridge cultural differences and any opposed attitudes that may exist to DDaT solutions
  • a co-ordinated approach to digital, data and technology workforce interactions across the whole ICS, connecting the Workforce and DDaT programmes

Principle: Digital Care

We will optimise digital channels and will explore and adopt new ways of delivering digital care, using digital advancements.

Digital can improve care in unimaginable ways. Whilst we have seen a significant rise in the adoption of digital solutions in health and care and many benefits have already been realised, we still have more to do. There are too many silos and single care pathways with systems that don’t join up data with other systems. Synchronous and asynchronous communications with people and their care team or carers have enormous benefit to those involved, but they are not suitable for all people or all encounters. We must recognise that digital care comes in a range of forms, a suite of tools; these tools need to be more effectively embedded within clinical and social care workflow, with a simpler and more cohesive architecture that remains stable and resilient.

The challenges we need to overcome
  • In our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we adopted digital – quickly, and everywhere, often with limited support or education
  • In addition, our services had to be remodelled to respond to the changing circumstances of the pandemic – digital and data supported this pace, but we have yet to embed these into our new ways of working
  • Covid-19 also meant that many routine services were postponed. Subsequently, this has resulted in a backlog of patients on waiting lists (diagnostics, elective and health checks for example), as well as an increase in people needing care (mental health, dental health for example)
  • Remote care models enable us to increase capacity, treat more patients more quickly, but they are currently siloed and variable in adoption and usage

We are starting to address these challenges through the provision of a Unified Digital Care capabilities across a wide range of diseases to support and provide greater access to care outside of the Hospital setting. This will reduce the number of specific remote monitoring solutions by providing an overarching platform to support clinical governance and patient management, as well as making it easier for staff and patients to use and to maintain safe and suitable care. Over time we will connect our platforms to simplify and to share, such that the person centric view can be realised.

To achieve the following outcomes
  • To be creative and design multiple patient facing applications enabling 2-way information sharing, education and support materials and capturing patient monitoring via connectivity to wearables and monitoring devices
  • Clinical and care dashboards of patient submitted information into case management that interfaces with organisational clinical and care systems
  • A positive notification to patients when a clinician has reviewed newly submitted data.
  • The ability for staff to work in a flexible manner that better suits them and the patients.
  • An opportunity for staff to learn new skills using new technology
  • More flexible treatment options that allow the patients to avoid admission to hospital or to be discharged earlier
  • Long term cost savings with better patient outcomes. Patients recover quicker in their home environment, in addition every bed day saved will allow more patients to be treated and therefore reduce the waiting lists.
  • Services designed to provide our citizens a frictionless experience through the health and care system.

Cassius is a care technology partnership commissioned by Suffolk County Council. It is a digital service, with data from devices collated into a central dashboard . With appropriate permissions this data is accessible through a browser or app and includes push notifications/SMS with a view to supporting more proactive and data led decision making and care support.

Principle: Enabling Insights

We will enable insight. We will invest in data platforms and analytical tools to support an intelligence function to be designed so we can truly use the data we hold to build an understanding of our citizens needs and our resources and design our services accordingly.

We want to be able to base our decision on data. This means, we need to enable data driven insights. We will prioritise Population Health approaches whilst at the same time unlocking the power of data for operational response, planning, logistics and other operational needs.

A move towards Population Health Management and data driven insights is considered essential to the delivery of the Higher Ambitions for Suffolk and North East Essex, and the NHS Long Term Plan. We will develop a Data Strategy that will provide us with the clear, agreed vision for how we best use our valuable data assets to benefit our citizens as well as the system.

The challenges we need to overcome

Whilst we collect and store significant amounts of data, we experience too many variables across our organisations to enable us to use that data most effectively.

We are aware that we need to address:

  • Gaps in real-time electronic record keeping
  • Variable data quality, stewardship and management tools
  • Variable interpretation of data meaning, limiting value
  • Variable approach to information sharing for non-direct care purposes, and lack of clarity from national perspective
  • Necessity to maintain trust through transparency, and to drive value from investments
  • Lack of data accessibility / ‘lock-in’ to proprietary solutions
  • Duplication of data

We want to unlock the value of the data and information assets we hold. We want to improve the health of our population by data driven planning and delivery of proactive anticipatory care to achieve maximum impact within collective resources.

To do this, we want to be able to use a Population Health Management (PHM) approach: using linked data and analytical approaches to analyse populations more effectively. We want to better understand current health and care needs and predict what local people will need in the future.

This will be done through tailoring available services and support by identifying specific cohorts that are at risk of poor health outcomes. We will use evidence of best practice to inform targeted, proactive approaches with these cohorts to improve health and wellbeing and address health inequalities.

To achieve the following outcomes

By joining up data from different care settings (including primary, secondary, mental health, social care, community and urgent care data) and developing a platform accessible to partners, we will enable the system to take a populationbased community focused approach to care planning and delivery. It will assist us to:

  • Address health inequalities by providing a detailed understanding of the wider determinants of health, social and health inequalities between population groups to ensure resources are targeted in areas where there is greatest need of support.
  • Address unwarranted variation in care quality, promoting outcomebased accountability methodology, and planning new proactive service models in response to unmet current and future need using population health management approaches.
  • Coordinate care by hosting and delivering insights to support operational workflow management between different care providers and optimising system capacity. Proactively use analytics capability by clinical staff to drive transformation;
  • evaluate ICS initiatives and share insight with research partners;
  • make the most cost-effective use of the resources we collectively have available to us.

Principle: Sustainable Change (Shared Capabilities and Resources)

We will look for ways to collaborate and use our resources collectively to ensure we make the best use of the investments we have each individually made to date, sharing those resources with our partners where it makes sense to do so.

When technology first came into the NHS, we would locally collaborate to make best use of resources. Then came the National Programme for IT, which although it brought some benefits, left us with a legacy of under-resourced teams and disconnected applications and infrastructure. This was further worsened following the Health and Care Act 2012, where CIOs were expected to compete. However since 2016 we have begun again to collaborate, to share, and to enable change collectively.

In SNEE, we have over recent years started to look at ways in which we can collaborate more effectively. Now, when we come together as an integrated care system, we can look to enhance on those collaboration initiatives. This is so we can make best use of the resources and investments we already have and see how we can optimise their use. We want to remove duplication where collaborative systems and programmes make sense. We want to simplify the digital landscape for our staff, care providers and citizens. We want to be smart in the way we collectively select and use our resources, to converge where appropriate, and to use the value of these actions to support ongoing investment

The challenges we need to overcome
  • All organisations within the ICS have invested in digital to different degrees, and largely to meet each of our own organisational needs
  • There remain gaps and single points of failure and stretched resources
  • Each organisation has developed digital maturity roadmaps and enhanced their services to align with their organisational vision and goals and tailored systems to meet workforce needs where appropriate. Some have developed teams and skills in specialist areas
  • Some have also made investments in resources and skills that are similar to those of their partner organisations
  • We each manage multiple similar suppliers, services and capabilities, and there will be value in aligning and synergising where practical
  • Our contractual landscape is complex and lacks transparency, making it hard for us to converge
  • Limitation in specialist skills means we are not able to progress at the desired speed

We want to unlock the value of digital collaboration across the ICS and seek new ways that makes our working lives as seamless and as straightforward as possible. This is so that we are working as one and deriving benefit and insight from one another. Our ambition is to develop our Digital, Data & Technology capabilities to enable all health and care professionals to be able to easily access relevant and timely information at the point of care.

To achieve the following outcomes

Sharing our resources and capabilities with our partners sits at the very core of the ICS ethos. It is part of the ‘How’ we will deliver integrated care through our system. It will mean that

  • We maximise our existing investments, reducing waste – being as costeffective as possible
  • Avoid duplication across the system, removing unnecessary cost
  • Upskill our staff faster
  • Mobilise new services quicker
  • Provide our staff and citizens with a consistent digital experience
  • Improve our resilience as a system
  • Build trust across our workforce

Supporting our sustainability ambitions

Environmental Sustainability

The current climate crisis is also a health and well-being crisis. Poor environmental health contributes to major diseases such as asthma, heart conditions and cancer. Whilst the NHS has set a clear target for Net-Zero Carbon by 2030, they cannot achieve this alone, and all our partners have a role to play. Digital plays a big part in de-carbonisation; alongside this we must consider supply chain and global reserves of Rare Earth and Critical Elements.

We will do this by:

  • Supporting our partners to enable remote working for our staff, reducing the amount of travelling to and from regular place of work as well as travel between sites for meetings
  • Enabling remote care for our citizens, where this is appropriate, ensuring travel only takes place when required
  • Shared data offers opportunities for collaboration between professionals which can reduce the need for citizens to be seen in multiple care settings
  • Shared data storage solutions reduce the amount of data each of our partners hold, significantly minimising the impact we have on our environment
  • Enable new applications and platforms that securely support reuse of devices
  • Focus on the continual use of resources (the circular economy) through adoption of new capabilities coupled with reuse, sharing, refurbishing, and recycling that will minimise the creation of waste, pollution & carbon emissions
Financial Sustainability

We want to be ambitious with our vision for the future. However, we accept that digital advancements often require significant financial investment. Therefore, this strategy is built with a view to create an ambitious but realistic digital roadmap for our ICS and one that is designed to deliver the greatest amount of value and positive change.

We need to ensure we work with longer term goals as our priority for investment. Much of the ICS Higher Ambitions cannot be realised with short term projects. These are going to be on-going programmes of work. The shift is significant, and our financial models need to align with that.

Where opportunities for any short-term funding becomes available to us, we will align these to our programmes of work as supplementary enhancements – enabling the ICS to move at a faster pace or explore wholly new capabilities, with the core services funded within. We also understand the national investment landscape may be difficult, so we will look within the ICS to enabling value through shared capabilities and resources, and ‘spend to save’ programmes.

Who Pays for What

From 2022/23 onwards ICSs will be expected to fund the delivery of their Digital, Data and Technology plans from their own budgets. We are expected to be given control of more resources with which to do so, and there will be a move away from central funding of frontline technology.

ICS funding is expected to cover:

  • applications such as EPRs – procurement, development and management
  • cloud services and data centres
  • core kit and supplies including laptops, printers, telecoms and networks
  • local cybersecurity measures
  • IT programme management
  • training
  • IT service management
  • system transformation, for example shared care records

We will align our financial planning in accordance with any national guidance as we transition to this new model.

Dr Ed Garratt’s key priorities include the ICS “Playing a significant role in improving environmental sustainability, accelerating the journey towards net zero, and recognising that this also impacts health and social care positively”.

How we plan to measure our progress

DDaT investment will need monitoring in multiple ways. We aspire to simplicity and transparency. Invariably the transitional process of DDaT will be an opportunity to change for the better through a clearly defined, results-focus approach.

We are committed to Outcome Based Approach (OBA) in line with the wider ICS Design Framework and will develop our OBA approach to our programmes of work focusing our efforts on measuring the true outcomes and changes that our programme outputs will deliver.

We will

  • Further develop and embed methodologies to monitor and evaluate achievement of the benefits that will enable us to progress towards achieving our ambitions and the outcomes we want for everyone
  • Emphasise on establishing a clear timeline, plan for implementation and formulating a system to track, measure and report on benefits
  • Track and measure benefits at every stage of DDaT projects life cycle and beyond
  • Periodically report on realised benefits and map these to our goals
  • Refine our approach based on our learning and landscape

We will create an environment where partners will have transparency to review our progress and initiatives and will seek mechanisms by which we will support our understanding on the maturity around this agenda.

Our new operating model

Working collaboratively across different organisations provides us with many opportunities to improve and change the way in which we engage with our partners and with our citizens.

However, for this to happen we need to design and establish new ways of working that enables us to work together to explore and develop the ways in which we deliver our services. We must have systems in place that create an environment where joint decision-making becomes the norm, and each partner has a voice. We must ensure we continue to be flexible and agile in our approach, but we must also ensure that we, as public sector organisations, apply appropriate rigour and governance where this is needed.

Our new operating model is designed to provide us with the flexibility and agility we need to ensure we can continue to advance our adoption of digital tools at pace, thus improving the health outcomes of our citizens. It is also designed to ensure that there is full transparency on how funds are used and what progress has been made.

Our Delivery Methodology

Building on our recent success we will continue to adopt an Adaptive Programme Management methodology as the framework under which we will deliver our digital programmes. This is a Framework used to execute large, complex programmes in highly uncertain environments.

The key benefits are:

  • It provides guidance and structure for dealing with large efforts that require iterative approaches and monitoring
  • By applying the framework and focus on outcomes, we avoid blind alleys and wasted work
  • We maintain a focus on movement toward the goals, as managed through the many interdependent pieces of the programme

This methodology provides us with the foundations on which we can build our multi-organisational projects and programmes, ensuring we will operate under an agreed framework, but one in which we can adapt our delivery models as and when needed.

How we will make decisions

Timely decision making is key in ensuring we can deliver on our commitments. For this, we need a clear governance structure that enables us to work together as a collaborative without overlooking the needs of our individual organisations.

Many of the decisions we need to make will be through the formal system-wide boards. We will establish two (interlinked) programme delivery boards in 2022 each with a specific focus:

a) Digital Care

  • This will encompass digital care, virtual care, care tech and remote care

b) Personalised Care

  • This will encompass our work on Shared Care Records and Care Planning

These will report into the Strategic Digital Investment & Assurance Board, accountable to the ICB and ICP.

Whilst the ICB and ICP Committee will play an integral role in the decision making, much of the delivery will be at Place and Neighbourhood level and this is where the benefits will also be realised, and we will ensure they have the skills, capacity and confidence to do so.

This landscape is complex and will take some time to mature. Our key focus in year 1 is to ensure that these models truly meet our needs, and we will adapt and shape them as appropriate.

Working in new ways with our partners

The formation of the ICSs offers us some great opportunities for collaboration. We must take advantage of these opportunities and look to capitalise on each other’s strengths.

The shape and nature of the organisations within the ICS are very diverse. This provides some great opportunities to share our different capabilities and play to our strengths. For example, larger organisations have the capital infrastructure and resources to help the VCSE sector in areas such as IT support and procurement of new services. The VCSE sector in turn has the interconnected trust of our citizens to overcome some of our communication challenges.

In joining our resources and our collective thinking, we are creating a very powerful network that enables us to support our citizens in entirely new ways.

Anchor Institutions & Academia

We will continue to work with and support our anchor institution model, where our larger organisations play a much wider role beyond their core services. We will ensure our digital plans are developed such that our anchor institutions can thrive in their neighbourhoods supporting the communities they serve. We will embrace the opportunities presented to us from Colchester becoming a City. We will continue to work with academia, with schools and colleges, with the Integrated Care Academy, and with local and international universities.

Integrated Care Academy Five Core Programmes

The Integrated Care Academy (hosted by the University of Suffolk) is achieving its vision “To enable the best possible integrated care accessible to all” through its five core programmes of activities2:

  • Education, Training and Development to add capacity, competence and capabilities in integrated care
  • Transforming Workforce Development in its widest sense, both employed and voluntary, to strengthen integrated care through team-based development
  • Embracing Leadership and Cultural Change, to develop and enhance local talent in integrated care
  • A catalyst for Digital, Data and Technology in integrated care, creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Cutting edge integrated care Research and Innovation to best support our communities
Team of Teams

Stanley McChrystal wrote “Team of Teams”. He said leaders should “delegate until it hurts”: delegate until it feels uncomfortable, then delegate some more, then support/take responsibility for those taking the delegated actions.

The sheer size and number of different organisations that exists within our ICS, means we effectively work in an environment that consists of multiple lines of accountability, complex layers of governance and teams that have formed over several years without the need to look beyond their own organisational boundaries.

For us to be successful, we must look at ways in which these teams can come together, and members feel that they all belong to the same, bigger team with a common goal – a ‘team of teams’ – that forms a trusted ‘golden web’ across our ICS.

We experienced this during the pandemic and want to build on that experience. We will make the most of the changing legislation and adapt our governance and operating models to best achieve our ambitions.

System Thinking

When we work in an integrated care system, we may find that the relationship between the problems we need to address and the cause of them isn’t obvious. For us to optimise the whole, we must improve the relationships among the parts.

  • We must focus our efforts on few co-ordinated changes to achieve sustained change, rather than trying to tackle many competing priorities.
  • We must focus on the common goals and galvanise our teams to create the right type of environment for influencing positive change at this scale.

As such our strategic delivery plan is designed to achieve this.

How we align with the national vision

Our focus is on ensuring that the health and care needs of our local population are met. However, we cannot operate without consideration to the national policies and legislation that exist to ensure consistent services are delivered nation-wide. Therefore, we have ensured in our planning that we have considered and can meet the expectations set upon us as public organisations.

There are many policies that drive the digital agenda. We have outlined below how our strategy is linked with some of the key policies.

Key policies
  1. Levelling Up the United Kingdom
  • Digital goals that support this policy:
    • Levelling up our infrastructure
    • Deliver more care in the community
    • Empower citizens in their care
  1. Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care
  • Digital goals that support this policy:
    • Levelling up our infrastructure
    • Support our workforce
    • Join Up Data to improve health outcomes
    • Empower citizens in their care
    • Deliver more care in the community
    • Maintain trust
  1. People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform white paper
  • Digital goals that support this policy:
    • Levelling up our infrastructure
    • Support our workforce
    • Join Up Data to improve health outcomes
    • Empower citizens in their care
    • Deliver more care in the community
    • Maintain trust
  1. Health and social care integration: joining up care for people, places and populations
  • Digital goals that support this policy:
    • Support our workforce
    • Join Up Data to improve health outcomes
    • Empower citizens in their care
    • Deliver more care in the community
    • Maintain trust


  • Appendix 1: Integrated Care Systems: key planning and partnership bodies from July 2022 (Kings Fund)
  • Appendix 2: DDaT 2022 – 2025 Delivery Plan
  • Available on request (please contact us to request any of the following documents, quoting the name of the document and the name of this web page):
    • SNEE Local Digital Roadmap (2016)
    • SNEE ICS Strategic Information Exchange Review (2018)
    • SNEE ICS Digital Investments Plans & Delivery Reports (August 2018->)
    • SNEE ICS Digital Strategy – Enabling the Long-Term Plan (2020)
    • SNEE ICS Digital through Covid (August 2020)
    • East Accord – After Action Review (November 2020)
    • SNEE DSI Group / Strategy Workshops (multiple sessions, October 2021 – May 2022)
    • Content from ICS Digital Strategy Away Day, November 2021
    • Content from NHS England ALS workshops (spring 2022)
    • Analysis of Dependencies, risks and benefits
    • Stakeholder Analysis
    • Assessment of digital goals against ICS Ambitions
    • Sub-documents and plans associated with each of the Principles / workstreams
    • Engagement Report (to follow)
    • Annual Report (to follow)


1. Empowering patients, service users & communities | LGA & NHS England » Empowering people in their care

Page last modified: 9 August 2023
Next review due: 9 February 2024