Getting IT ready to Support Business Change
The NHS Information Centre (IC), like all parts of Government, is facing the challenge of funding restraint at a time of un-paralleled change. The White Paper “Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS” and the report from the review of arm’s-length bodies both refer to ‘centralising data returns in the Health and Social Care Information Centre’. While it is still unclear exactly what data the NHS IC will be responsible for collecting, storing and disseminating; it is clear that the organisation needs to be prepared to:
- design and develop new data and information services;
- grow existing NHS IC data and information services;
- take over the running of information and data services from other organisations; and
- respond to both regular and ad-hoc data/information requests from a range of customers.
In order to meet the expected demand for NHS IC services, the organisation needs to create an agile and flexible working environment. This can be achieved by implementing standard methodologies for developing and delivering data/information services and applying them organisation wide.
ASE worked with the NHS IC and the Connecting for Health Technology Office to make the vision of the new operating model a reality. An Enterprise Architecture approach was taken, starting with the elaboration of the business activities to a degree which allows the outline business and technology requirements to be specified.
This work focused on developing a set of strategy documents outlining the processes required and then a migration plan containing the tasks which were needed to delivery the overall change vision.
Given the Government funding situation the emphasis was on reuse of the existing capabilities rather than large scale procurements. Hence the work concentrated on identifying the changes which could be delivered by the current technology, given the correct change in process and organisation. This incremental change had to be carried while maintaining the overall strategic vision.
The NHS IC recognised the need for change to be positioned ready for the new environment and the need to change quickly to meet the aggressive timescales. The work undertaken by ASE set the changes on a firm base while achieving the flexibility needed to meet new challenges.
Andrew Frith, the NHS IC Operations Director, said “Timescales for this work were very tight and we needed a team that could get stated and be effective in the minimum time. With ASE as an integral part of that team we were able to move quickly and respond to change while maintaining focus on our overall goal. ASE have brought their expertise in the health market as well as wider experience from projects across Government .”