Policy, the NHS and IT

Policy, the NHS and IT

NHS Digital and other organisations are involved with the development of NHS IT within the community pharmacy sector.

Read more about NHS pharmacy IT arrangements at: NHS and IT.

This webpage sets out an organisation list and a policy list.

List of organisations related with pharmacy IT

Organisation Further information
Code4Health pharmacy sub-group Volunteer group of contractors and others which learn about and explore new open source digital solutions.
Community Pharmacy IT Group (CPITG) Maintains a work programme in relation to English community pharmacy IT. Participating organisations include various pharmacy bodies PSNC, AIMp, CCA, NPA, and RPS, as well NHS Digital and pharmacy system suppliers. If you would like to feed into discussions contact PSNC’s IT team.
Data Coordination Board (DCB), previously SCCI Oversees the development, and approval of information standards, data collections and data extractions.
Endeavour Health (charity) Aims to improve healthcare by enabling the design of, and researching the effectiveness of, new forms of healthcare information technology and healthcare provision with particular emphasis on patients as users of IT.
FHIR Foundation Promotes global adoption and implementation of the FHIR® platform standard.
GP system suppliers System suppliers are used GP practices to support their work.
HL7 UK Dedicated to providing a framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information.
Information Governance Alliance (IGA) The core members of the IGA are the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, NHS Digital and Public Health England. Representatives from the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Data Guardian’s Office also sit on the Board. IGA offer advice and support, develop networks, publish guidance, endorse guidance produced by others, and work with local and national organisations to improve knowledge and practice of information governance across the health and care system.
INTEROPen An action group to accelerate the development of open standards for interoperability in the health and social care sector. Leading organisations and individuals are encouraged to join INTEROPen. Members include NHS Digital, GP system suppliers, and many of the organisations included within this list.
medConfidential Campaigns for confidentiality and consent in health and social care – seeking to ensure that every flow of data into, across and out of the NHS and care system is consensual, safe and transparent.
National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) NCSC is the UK’s authority on cyber security. It is a part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
National Data Guardian (NDG) The National Data Guardian (NDG) advises and challenges the health and care system to help ensure that citizens’ confidential information is safeguarded securely and used properly.
National Information Board (NIB) Sets digital priorities in health and care.
NHSX The joint organisation for digital, data and technology. It brings teams from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement together into one unit to drive digital change and lead related policy.
NHS Digital Supports the NHS and social care services. Formerly had been named HSCIC and before that Connecting for Health.
NHS Digital Cybersecurity and IG team Conducts work relating to the IG toolkit, the IG training tool, and cyber and data security.
NHS Digital HSCN team Is overseeing the transition and then maintenance of the HSCN network (N3 replacement).
NHS Digital National Service Desk (NSD). Pharmacy system suppliers may escalate EPS issues to the NSD on behalf of contractors where needed.
NHS Digital Smartcard central team Sets Smartcard and access control policy for use by local Smartcard Registration Authorities.
NHS Digital programme team: Digitising Community Pharmacy (incl EPS) Manage aspects of EPS, whilst also exploring development of EPS enhancements, real time exemption, promoting digital literacy and more.
NHS Digital programme team: Integrating Pharmacy Across Care Setting: Projects include SCR, electronic health records and transfer of care.
NHS Digital programme team: Pharmacy Supply Chain and Secondary Uses Projects include NHS Digital FMD work, and implementation of a single identifier for prescribers working within the NHS.
openEHR This not-for-profit company has a vision of life-long interoperable electronic health records (EHRs); and computing on EHRs to improve the quality of health care and research. Its mission is to promote and support implementation.
Pharmacy system suppliers Systems are business-critical so it is essential to give careful consideration to selecting a system supplier, or working with your supplier.
Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) Works with the public and healthcare professionals to define the standards needed for good care records.
Smartcard Registration Authorities (local) Oversees local Smartcard issues.
System suppliers Systems are business-critical so it is essential to give careful consideration to selecting a system supplier, or working with your supplier.



List of key pharmacy IT policies

A list of key policies:

Policy (a-z) Summary of policy
Caldicott2 Information Governance Review (National Data Guardian 2013) Review of information-sharing to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the protection of patient information and the use and sharing of information to improve patient care.
Caldicott3: Review of data security, consent and opt-outs (National Data Guardian 2016) Recommendations aimed at strengthening the safeguards for keeping health and care information secure and ensuring the public can make informed choices about how their data is used. A recommendation was made in some scenarios that the duty to share information for a patient benefit could be as important as the duty to protect confidentiality.
A Digital NHS? (Kings Fund 2016) Looks at the key commitments made and what was known about progress up to 2016, grouped under three broad themes: interoperable electronic health records, patient-focused digital technology, and secondary use of data, transparency and consent. The report identifies barriers to further progress and opportunities for delivering on the digital agenda.
Everyday Interactions (Public Health England 2017) Outlines public health impact ‘pathways’ to support pharmacy teams and others to record what they ‘do’ in their interactions with patients, what data can be collated and also the possible impacts from these interactions. These pathways could be of interest to pharmacy contractors and their system suppliers. The pathway templates include: Obesity, alocohol, dementia, and smoking.
Five-Year Forward View (5YFV) (NHS England 2014) The NHS needs to adapt to take advantage of the opportunities that science and technology offer patients, carers and those who serve them. But it also needs to evolve to meet new challenges: longer life expectancy, with complex health issues. The document proposes measures to help deliver a more responsive NHS in England.
The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care (DHSC) This set out the Government’s ambitions for the use of technology, digital and data within health and care. This new approach includes setting clear standards for the use of technology in health and care.
NIB reports The role of the NIB is to put data and technology safely to work for patients, service users, citizens and the professionals who serve them. It brings together national health and care organisations from the NHS, public health, clinical science, social care and local government, along with appointed independent representatives to develop the strategic priorities for data and technology. It sets data and technology work-stream priorities in health and care and advises the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
NHS Long Term Plan (NHS England 2019) Setting out NHS intended priorities for healthcare for 2019-2029 including anticipated digital developments.
Personalised health and care 2020 (DHSC and NIB 2014) A framework for action that intends to support frontline staff, patients and citizens to take better advantage of the digital opportunity. The intention is that better use of data and technology has the power to improve health, transform the quality and reduce the cost of health and care services via four key ways: (1) give patients and citizens more control over their health and wellbeing; (2) empower carers; (3) reduce the administrative burden for care professionals; and (4) support the development of new medicines and treatments.
Power of information (DHSC 2012) A strategy that set out plans for using information and technology to improve health, care and support – to improve the experience, quality and outcomes of health and care services, intending to put people at the heart of care.
Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future (Health Education England 2019) It makes recommendations to enable NHS staff to make the most of innovative technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics to improve services. These recommendations were intended to support the aims of the NHS Long-Term Plan, and the workforce implementation plan.
Wachter review (DHSC 2016) This review on use of IT when improving the NHS, suggested technical changes tend to succeed where carried out alongside workforce transformation and workflow amendment / training. The review suggested recommendations to inform the English health and care system’s approach to the further implementation of IT in healthcare, especially the use of electronic health records and other digital tools to achieve a paper free system. Recommendations included: (1) strengthen and grow the pool of healthcare staff that will have trained both clinically and within digital fields; (2) Allocate the funding to help Trusts go digital – mostly for those needing help, and for rewards for those exemplars; (3) Link national funding for digital to viable local implementation plans; and (3) Ensure interoperability as a core characteristic of the NHS digital ecosystem.



Further info

If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact it@psnc.org.uk. To share and hear views about digital developments with like-minded pharmacy team members, join the CP Digital email group today.



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