NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system. It uses digital technology to transform the NHS and social care. NHS Digital is the trading name of the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
There are three key remits within NHS Digital’s work, outlined below.
Transforming health and care through technology
Personalised Health and Care 2020 is a strategy published by the National Information Board, outlining how the health and care system will use data and technology, to transform outcomes for patients and citizens in the coming years.
NHS Digital has an important part to play in this work. The work streams have been divided into 10 delivery domains, which describe the programmes of activity, existing services and plans for the future. Some are at an early stage and information will be added as work progresses:
- Self care and prevention.
- Urgent and emergency care.
- Transforming general practice.
- Integrated care.
- Digital medicines.
- Elective care.
- Paper free at point of care.
- Data outcomes for research and oversight.
- Public trust and security.
Role and remit in the health service
NHS Digital supplies information and data to the health service, provides vital technological infrastructure, and helps different parts of health and care work together. Specifically, it:
- provides information and data to the health service so that it can plan effectively and monitor progress;
- creates and maintains the technological infrastructure that keeps the health service running and links systems together to provide seamless care; and
- develops information standards that improve the way different parts of the system communicate.
Keeping patient data safe
NHS Digital is the guardian of patient data, making sure it is protected and used for the good of health care. It has two main responsibilities:
- run and manage computer systems that link different parts of health and care together and improve individual care; and
- collect some specific health and care data to check how the health and care service is doing to improve everyone’s care.