Hello and welcome. I feel hugely privileged as Co-Programme Director for the Digital Services for Patients and the Public (DSPP) programme to set out where we intend to make a positive difference for all people across Wales. We have all seen and experienced how advances in technology can be of benefit to our lives and the lives of our friends and family and within the NHS in Wales we want to develop to meet the changing expectations of citizens. The DSPP programme was formed in April 2020 to transform health and care for patients and the public in Wales through the creation of new online health services. Specifically, the programme seeks to use new technology and ways of working to help people in Wales to access better healthcare, ease pressure on health services and support health providers to deliver joined-up health and care.
I want to emphasise that people are at the centre of the programme’s approach in every respect and inform every aspect of design, development and delivery. We have heard that patients and the public want: access to trustworthy information, to monitor their health conditions efficiently, to connect with health and care professionals, to effortlessly share and receive important health information with health and care professionals, to be empowered and take control of and manage their own health and care and to have a practical way to manage their own health and care and stay healthy for longer.
A major area of focus for our programme team in better meeting patient needs is the design and development of the NHS Wales App which will be available as a website accessed from computers, tablets and as an App running on mobile phones (Android and Apple) and will be dual language throughout. As well as building the core gateway application, the programme team are building the services and standards to support effective integration with a diverse range of digital services that exist and others that will be developed in the future. Over time it is intended that we will grow the richness of functionality available through the NHS Wales App and lead the development of the digital ecosystem in Wales.
It is important to note that we are following a collaborative approach to build partnerships that will help us to meet the current and future needs of the people of Wales. We intend that these partnerships will be supported by a resource centre / virtual ‘Centre of Excellence’ to support effective NHS service change, integration with suppliers and the sharing of better practice. We are making plans to launch the NHS Wales App and are focusing on a controlled release that will involve extensive testing and development so that we are fully assured that it will meet the needs of the people of Wales. We intend to regularly communicate progress in the development of the NHS Wales App and the other programme objectives that I have highlighted above. Further information on the DSPP Programme is available here:
Digital Services for Patients and Public - Digital Health and Care Wales (nhs.wales)