Connected Nottinghamshire leads the way for public access to digital services using the NHS ‘front door’

Gurpreet SaraiNews, Slider

Connected Nottinghamshire has pioneered public access to digital health and care services in a landmark approach that uses the NHS App and NHS login as the single ‘front door’. Today, this innovative approach has featured in the NHSX Tech Vision (page 6), highlighted as a best practice example of how PHRs are offering transformative benefits for the public and health and care services.

Featured in the NHSX Tech Plan Vision

Connected Nottinghamshire, the digital transformation programme, set up by the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System to transform the way people access and experience health and care services, partnered with Patients Know Best (PKB) as its local personal health record (PHR), to connect their population to the information and services they need, when they need them, all in one place. 

Connected Nottinghamshire and PKB are the first to integrate with the NHS App and NHS login’s encrypted single sign-on. These revolutionary advances create a single ‘front door’ to local digital health and care services by enabling the public to securely connect NHS login to their PHR data. It also means they can access the same PHR data inside the NHS App interface, for a more seamless and joined-up NHS experience. 

By bringing together data from local and national systems to facilitate the public to access digital tools, information and services, citizens across Nottinghamshire will be empowered to drive their own health outcomes, take control and become experts in their health, care and wellbeing. 

Earlier this week, Roundwood Surgery in Mansfield went live with Patients Know Best where Jayne Birch-Jones was the first patient to register for her Personal Health and Care Record. She said: “Signing up to PKB was so easy. Its come at just the right time. I’m under the care of physio for lower back problems and I can now share my care plan and pain scores with my GP.”

Alexis Farrow, Head of Strategy and Transformation for Connected Nottinghamshire, added: “I am delighted that our population can take advantage of the full range of digital services including online access to manage their health and care. This is a significant step forward in modernising health and care services across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and we are thrilled to be working with Patients Know Best to achieve this.”

“We have spent the last two years talking to our population to enable us to understand what digital services would improve their experience and interaction with health and care services. We have developed our plans around their needs. In response to the needs of our population we are also providing free digital support and training across in places like libraries to support people to access and use digital technology.” 

Virtual access to care plans, library resources, remote consultations, messaging, self-monitoring and the ability to integrate medical devices, take advantage of social prescribing and seamlessly share data with family, carers or any health and care professionals anywhere, will make digital health and care standard practise across Nottinghamshire. With patients and professionals able to access a complete personal health and care record populated with data from hospitals, GPs, social care and mental health services, the Nottinghamshire PHR will become the public-facing ‘hub’, joining up information for the first time in line with the local ICS vision. 

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO and Founder of Patients Know Best, added: “Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS has the best NHS App usage of any area in the country. This is a clear reflection of their determination to empower the local population with the digital tools and services they need to more effectively and safely manage their health and care. It’s what the population has asked for – and it’s what they have delivered. Nottinghamshire are the trailblazers in this landmark integration and we’re thrilled to work in partnership with this great team to make access to PHRs mainstream across the region.”

Wider access to digital tools will also help to identify efficiency savings and improve the quality of services through a gradual shift to lower-cost digital channels. Connected Nottinghamshire is providing extensive support to their population to enable everyone to access digital; through digital hubs on the high street, digital pop up shops in the community and digital support on social prescription. Over the last year, they have supported people to register and login to the NHS App, share basic skills in relation to smart devices and laptops, as well as providing an informal and comfortable learning environment where everyone can access digital healthcare.