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A new group has been formed to drive forward the “much-needed” digital health readiness agenda, which will be led by CECOPS CIC and supported by many experts in the digital health space.

The task group will be jointly chaired by Professor Mike Bewick (a former deputy medical director at NHS England) and Shane Tickell (Vice Chair, Health and Social Care, TechUK, and CEO Temple Black).

The formation of this group follows a webinar run by CECOPS on the 10th of June called ‘Digital health readiness, during and post-COVID-19 pandemic’.

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CECOPS CIC is an independent standards and accreditation body in the UK for all assistive technology services, including digital health. The body has developed outcome-based standards and currently works with approximately 200 NHS and local authority providers.

According to the accreditation body, there was an “overwhelming” sense in the webinar discussion that in order for the digital health marketplace to be sustainable and effective, the issue of organisational readiness should be addressed as a matter of priority.

The group have agreed that the issue of digital health readiness is beyond further discussion and want to be seen as a ‘Do Tank’.

The overall aims of the group are to establish what digital health readiness actually looks like and to share, scale and accelerate it, so that organisations are ready for adopting new innovations and technologies at pace to ensure improved outcomes and benefits can be fully realised.

In addition, the group will collaborate with other strategic partners in the digital health space.

Professor Bewick said: “Over recent years there has been some excellent work initiated by organisations like NHS England/Improvement – including the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur programme, NHSX, the Academic Health Science Networks and Digital Health London, looking at innovations.

“To capitalise on this work we feel readiness is an area where focus needs to be, especially with the momentum COVID-19 has given with regards to looking at digital health; we don’t want to miss this opportunity.”

Brian Donnelly, CEO of CECOPS, will lead on the day-to-day operations of the group and oversee projects, along with a support team.

The task group advisory panel includes:

  • Prof. Mike Bewick (Joint Chair)
  • Shane Tickell (Joint Chair)
  • Dr Taz Aldawoud, CCIO, NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG; CEO, Doc Abode (Vice Chair)
  • Dr. Ruth Ngozi Agbakoba, Academic & Digital Health Consultant (Project Lead & Advisor)
  • Dr Paul Rice, Regional Director of Digital Transformation, NHS England & NHS Improvement (External Advisor)
  • Rachel Murphy, CEO, Difrent Group (External Advisor)
  • Eamus Halpin, Corporate Strategist, Horizon Strategic Partners (External Advisor)
  • Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO, ORCHA (External Advisor)
  • Dr Tamsin Holland Brown, Paediatrician, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (External Advisor)
  • Dr. Sam Shah, Digital Health Tech Advisor (External Advisor)
  • Neelam Patel, CEO, MedCity (External Advisor)
  • Helen Hughes, CEO, Patient Safety Learning (External Advisor)
  • Charlotte Lewis, Commercial Health Lawyer, Mills & Reeve (External Advisor)
  • Dr. Antonio E. Weiss, Author & Director 2020 Delivery (External Advisor)
  • Hassan Chaudhury, Digital Health Lead at Healthcare UK (External Advisor)
  • Andy Wilkins, Co-Founder at Vision4Health & CEO of BE Advisory

Digital health readiness assessments will look mainly at the planning and commissioning of services, including system readiness. It will help bring organisations to the procurement and commissioning phase.

Assessments can also cover digital health providers, so that they are ready to bring their solution to the market, CECOPS adds.

Dr Taz Aldawoud (Vice Chair) commented: “This is an excellent opportunity to ensure the system is ready for some of the great innovations out there. This initiative could not have come at a better time. I am delighted to be part of this.”

Readiness will be assessed against the CECOPS International Code of Practice for Planning, Commissioning and Providing Technology Enabled Care Services: A Quality Framework for Procurement and Commissioning of Services, and using the iCOPS® self-assessment and continuous improvement software tool.

Readiness assessments can be undertaken at both micro and macro levels e.g. hospitals, Integrated Care Systems.

To learn more about the digital health readiness task group and the support it offers, contact: T: 01494 863398 | M: 07511667330 | brian@cecops.org.uk

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