"One of the biggest successes of dealing with COVID-19 has been the deployment of digital to the frontline across health and social care in Humber, Coast and Vale."

John Skidmore, Digital Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

One of the biggest successes of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has been the deployment of digital to the front line across health and social care across the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

I accepted the Senior Responsible Officer role for digital across the Humber, Coast and Vale integrated care system (ICS) in February 2020 and since then it has just been success all the way.

So why do I say that? All partner organisations in our ICS have come together on digital with passion, determination and talent to start to unleash the potential of digital in our ICS, building on past successes.

As the pandemic started to hit, the collaboration amongst all partners on the digital capability and solution-focused approach has been magnificent…..while it’s been very demanding and very tough to get things done and implemented at pace.

I have witnessed unprecedented collaboration across all partners to help, share and create solutions to problems enabling tens of thousands of consultations to be carried out remotely using digital to help and support people right across our ICS area.

It’s been brilliant to be at the helm, steering the ship and witnessing some of the tremendous outcomes that have been achieved by our digital leads.

Meeting every two weeks has been a challenge, but everyone has been on the Microsoft Teams meetings and agree it has been essential to achieve the superb outcomes over a number of weeks, when in the past this would have taken many years to accomplish.

We have also seized the opportunity to quickly develop a ‘Fast Forward’ Digital Strategy, building on these great achievements, and to then consult with all chief executives  and chief officers in our ICS.

We have worked strongly and confidently with the NHS Digital North of England team and in the last two weeks we have submitted a substantial digital capital bid, all focused on getting us through this next 12 months and beyond whilst we have to live with Covid-19 around us.

Shining a light of the incredible talent of our digital champions across our ICS is something to be very proud of, as they have worked tirelessly to help our health and care system in the face of this hidden enemy.

This has challenged our leadership, our culture and our beliefs about the art of the possible with digital. We have made history every day with the decisions and solutions created and, despite all the huge suffering and loss of life, we can celebrate the role digital has played in our ICS.

It has been an epic roller coaster of a journey with digital, but one where we can take comfort that some positive good has come out of this crisis for people now and into the future.

Digital is fundamental to preparing for winter and is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in how we can support people to live as independently as possible, through to carrying out crucial consultations remotely by our incredibly talented workforce.

I will let you know how we get on with digital and the huge role it will play over this next period in my next blog.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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