A doctor using a tablet

As part of the Digital Boards programme backed by Health Education England and NHS England, NHS Providers have updated their Digital Delivery Principles guide, aimed at helping trust boards to deliver effective digital services.

NHS Providers has published its fifth guide as part of the Digital Boards programme. Aimed at increasing trust board members’ confidence in digital and helping them to avoid common mistakes, the guide sets out eight core principles for the successful delivery of digital services.

Jointly produced with Public Digital, the Digital Delivery Principles programme is commissioned by Health Education England as part of their Digital Readiness Education Programme and is supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Digital Boards programme aims to build board understanding of the potential and implications of the digital agenda and increase the confidence and capability of boards to harness the opportunities it provides. It outlines practical takeaways for trust leaders, shares peer learning and summarises key considerations for all board members when building and implementing digital services.

The eight principles for successful digital delivery include how to:

  • Deliver things that patients and staff need
  • Set clear, realistic goals
  • Test, measure and learn how initiatives are working
  • Think long term, deliver short term
  • Invest in a dedicated, cross-functional inhouse digital team
  • Get the best out of technology suppliers
  • Build trust, not barriers
  • Not stick to the wrong plan

In addition, NHS Providers’ Board Development Programme delivers core modules and bespoke board development sessions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of boards.

Speaking about the new Digital Delivery Principles guide, Jenny Reindorp, Interim Director of Programmes at NHS Providers, said “we have seen many trusts progress in implementing digital as a side effect of the pandemic, and it’s important that we recognise and build on this momentum. To do this, it’s essential that board members are equipped with the expertise they need to be confident in assuring digital delivery at their trusts.”

“This guide is part of our programme to do just that – it provides practical examples of how trusts can implement digital decisions successfully, and shares learning from a range of trusts on the approaches they’ve taken. Our eight principles are designed to guide busy board leaders through transformative digital change.

“The Digital Boards programme continues to offer free development sessions for individual trust boards to support them in these conversations.”

David Farrell, Head of Digital Readiness Education at Health Education England said “we welcome the publication of this latest Digital Boards leadership guide. The guides have been really well received by both board members and in fact by digital change leaders at all levels. The eight digital delivery principles set out, and the evaluation questions posed within, will be invaluable to anybody thinking about and leading digital transformation within their organisation.”