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NHS Digital sets out 2018 plans for its techUK partnership

NHS Digital has outlined the immediate future challenges it needs to tackle in its partnership with techUK. 


The partnership between NHS Digital and techUK was established towards the end of 2016 and aims to bring suppliers and the NHS together to tackle the challenges and opportunities that the Government's digital transformation programme for health and social care presents. This will enable industry to help influence and create the new technologies that will drive innovation.


techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. It has over 900 companies in membership, which collectively employ more than 700,000 people. Around one third of these work in digital health and care.


NHS Digital and techUK have agreed six main areas to focus on in 2018. These include working with small and medium enterprises so that they might share in NHS and social care business and continuing to increase interoperability in the sector, building flexibility into technology from the outset.


Other areas of interest include horizon scanning for innovative technologies, supporting the security operation centre procurement to help build on current cyber security work and carrying out a strategic review of NHS Digital's digital transformation programme.


The Cyber Security Working Group is one of high priority initiatives. This group is in the early stages of its development. It brings industry representatives with a speciality in cyber security together with NHS Digital. Three initiatives have been identified for work:


* techUK is promoting NHS Digital’s procurement of a partner organisation, for an expansion to its existing Security Operation Centre


* An innovation challenge for industry to provide a mechanism to trace data back to its source


* An initiative to assist NHS Digital to baseline the level of cyber security of medical devices


James Hawkins, Director of Programmes at NHS Digital says: "The years ahead promise many exciting opportunities to advance technology in the NHS, working closely in partnership with industry. By setting out our priorities, we have created a blueprint for success in the years to come."


Julian David, Chief Executive Officer for techUK says: "Our partnership with NHS Digital has already achieved so much, with 25 market engagements, seven consultations, and over 1,500 delegates through the door, but this is only the start. Now that we have seen a shift towards a more transparent and collaborative way of working with industry, we look forward to deepening that engagement, working together to deliver better health and care outcomes for the whole country."



An annual review of the partnership's achievements was completed in November 2017. Successes noted in the review included a number of market engagement events and consultations. These engagements have given industry a clear voice in the public health sector and enabled NHS Digital to benefit from the knowledge and experience that suppliers have to offer, earlier in the process.