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Digital care

What we are doing

Our digital strategy is fundamentally about delivery and transformation, and as such, this requires all parts of our health and care system to be fully aligned and in agreement. In order to make this happen, it requires senior leadership from all parts of the health and care system to support the vision, aims and objectives, and make the vision a reality.

We recently published a new digital strategy to reflect the changes across the health and care sector as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our strategic priorities

The strategy brings together five key themes:

  • The essentials: By getting the basics right and working together using shared approaches, we can safely move forward on our digital journey.
  • Improving: An integrated health and care system needs digitally mature organisations and a digitally capable workforce.
  • Connecting: Through continuing to connect the region’s health and care IT systems and through secure sharing of information, we are improving the quality and safety of care.
  • Empowering: By using digital technologies where appropriate, we will empower people to be partners in their own health and care needs.
  • Learning: Through the use of reliable, up-to-date information, data and research we can proactively respond to the needs of our population.

Our regional digital programmes

CDRC Precision develop digital searches and resources for use on existing clinical IT systems (SystmOne & EMIS). Developed by clinicians in the North East, for clinicians, CDRC Precision resources are free to access and are hazard reviewed by NECS. The team work to create resources that support the demands of the system with current resources including searches to support the identification of patients at risk of atrial fibrillation and familial hypercholesterolemia.

Implementing CDRC Precision tools can support clinicians to proactively manage patients care and improve health and wellbeing. The searches quickly identify patients who are likely to benefit from a change in clinical management by providing accurate, real time data.

Find out more

The Great North Care Record is a way of sharing patient information with health and care staff. It operates in the North East of England and North Cumbria and covers the 3.2m people living in our region.

The project, which was highly commended at the at the HSJ Awards 2021, involves electronically connecting patient information from GPs, local hospitals, social care and community and mental health teams together across the system, helping to make care better and safer.

All hospital trusts, mental health trusts, out of hours, local authorities and primary care services in the region, as well as the North East Ambulance Service, are securely sharing patient data including medications, hospital visits, referrals and letters.

The GNCR system is being used around 340,000 times every month by health and care workers – more than 10,000 times a day.

During 2022 the next phase of the GNCR project – My Great North Care Record - will start being rolled out. It will mean patients can interact with their local hospitals from the ease of their smartphones or tablets.

Initially patients will be able to access their personal information, including hospital appointments and repeat prescriptions, through the NHS App. Eventually patients will be able to digitally access all their information from all NHS organisations in the North East and North Cumbria ICS.

For more information, please visit the Great North Care Record website.

This programme is digitising physical glass slides used in pathology. High resolution scanners digitise the image so that these, rather than the physical slides can be shared around the region. This will ensures that clinicians have instant access to samples for faster cancer diagnosis and discussions at multi-disciplinary meetings as well as reduce the cost of transporting slides.

This regional programme aims to connect radiology services across the North East and North Cumbria. Currently radiology information can be shared on request between trusts, but this project is seeking to make access easier and more streamlined. In the future clinicians will be able to access radiology images held in the different systems across the region.

Health Call is an NHS-owned collaboration of seven NHS Foundation Trusts across the North East and North Cumbria developing digital solutions, enabling best practice and diverse clinical expertise to be shared across regional health providers.


Provides free professional and personal development accessible to all informatics staff across the North East and North Cumbria, which includes virtual training, face to face training, special interest groups connecting you to your peers, downloadable resources and much more. Access the network.

Our regional approach to Population Health Management (PHM) improves the health of people in our region by using data driven planning and delivery of proactive care to achieve maximum impact.

This includes segmentation, stratification and impact modelling to identify local ‘at risk’ cohorts and, in turn, designing and targeting interventions to prevent ill-health and to improve care and support for people with ongoing health conditions and reducing unwarranted variations in outcomes.

There are three core capabilities for PHM:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Intelligence
  3. Interventions.

Find out more about our approach

The Trusted Research and Evaluation Environment (TREE) programme is currently under development and will allow partners from across the NHS, local authorities and universities to collaborate on projects that will give new insights into our healthcare services and help develop new innovations and treatments through better use of data.

Collaborative teams will be able to access data from across our health and care organisations, in a governed and regionally accredited secure environment, to answer specific questions relevant to our region.

Access to TREE will be strictly governed in line with regional, legal and ethical regional processes around the use of patient data. People using TREE will then be able to extract their findings, but not the data itself, adding further security and protection around the data. Access to the data is only used for a specific project and then safely archived.

TREE will comply with national protocols and the five ‘safes’ around the use of data. These are:

  • Safe projects
  • Safe data
  • Safe people
  • Safe setting
  • Safe outputs

Find out more about how the region is collaborating to develop the TREE in this strategy document.

Keep up to date

In the news

We publish headlines, blogs and digital case studies in the ICS news section.

Digital News bulletin

We email a monthly newsletter to our subscribers. Read our latest issue.

Who is involved

Senior Responsible Officer: Dr Mark Dornan
GP and Chair of Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group
Chief Digital Officer for North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System: Professor Graham Evans
Chief Information and Technology Officer at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

For more information contact: necsu.digitalcare@nhs.net

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