Digital healthcare journey gathers pace at ‘much improved’ Bradford hospitals

Bradford’s hospitals have passed another milestone in their journey to make patient care better and safer through digital technology.

A new study has identified Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as one of the most-improved digital pioneers in the NHS.

And it is one of only two trusts across England to feature in the top ten without being part of the NHS’s Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme – which awards hundreds of millions of pounds’ additional funding.

“Thanks to the expertise of our people, and their appetite for making the most of the potential of digital innovation in healthcare, we are thrilled that our hard work has reaped benefits,” said Chief Digital and Information Officer, Cindy Fedell.

“That we now sit amongst or above the GDE hospitals – the digital flag-bearers of the NHS – without having the benefit of their extra funding, is real testimony to our skills.

“Building on this platform, we are now targeting new funding opportunities, with the aim of building on this impetus and fast-tracking our digital journey.

“The message is that here in Bradford we are ready, willing and – above all – able to play a key role in the NHS’s digital transformation locally, in West Yorkshire & Harrogate, and nationally.”

News of the improved performance comes as the trust launched the first phase of its new Command Centre to improve the way patients are moved through and out of its hospitals.

A European healthcare first, it monitors patients via an air traffic control-style hub, allowing staff to determine rapidly when diagnostic tests are needed or people are medically fit to be discharged.

Alongside a number of other digital initiatives brought to life at the trust, the command centre has triggered international interest with healthcare leaders from Sweden and Belgium among those paying a fact-finding visit to Bradford.

The Trust’s improved performance was endorsed as part of a study, coordinated by NHS England, in which the “digital maturity” of hospitals was measured against three key themes:

  • Readiness: the ability to plan and deploy digital services
  • Capabilities: the use of digital technology to support the delivery of care
  • Infrastructure: the having in place the underlying platform to support these capabilities

It is also designed to help individual organisations identify key strengths and gaps in provision of digital services.