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Sectoral Strategies Progress


Progress over last six months – and any challenges faced

Central Government

The main focus for delivery in Central Government since the strategy was published has been ensuring that the major proposed ICT developments meet the strategy principles and developing an ICT assurance process to support successful delivery of ICT Projects and Programmes.

Work has been undertaken around the themes of the strategy. In terms of Citizen Focus, The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland was published on the 20 August 2014, and aims to provide: a modern, user-focussed justice system which uses digital technology to deliver simple, fast and effective justice and value for money, across the full extent of administrative, civil and criminal justice.

Having a skilled and empowered workforce is key for delivery of the strategy, and this shows with 18 Central Government leaders in the Digital Champions development programme. Also, 390 ICT staff across Central Government actively participate in the British Computer Society’s (BCS) professional development scheme. We have also been sharing our ICT technical staff, with a number of them carrying out technical reviews of other organisations planned projects.

The Digital Transformation Service (DTS) has been established to work with Central Government to initiate effectively designed digital strategies, so that they are best positioned to succeed.   The DTS will work with organisations to build their digital skills and capabilities.  For further information about the DTS please contact DPS@Gov.Scot

The Sector has made great steps in terms of Collaboration and Value for Money, with organisations already collaborating on projects, such as Document Management, Wide Area Network and Corporate Services Systems and further potential projects likely to emerge as a result of the collaboration project analysis underway.

Data Centre sharing is moving forward with the strategy published, and guidance available to help those Central Government organisations moving to virtualisation and cloud.

In addition work has started on scoping out a shared capability for ICT/Digital Skills for central government.

Further and Higher Education

The sector’s Universities and Colleges Shared Services (UCSS) Information-Services Shared Services Catalyst (ISSC) have completed a major review of information services across the University and College sectors, looking at the as-is environment and the future plans for investment.

They have also undertaken a major dialogue process to explore opportunities for shared services, this has resulted in 11 areas of services that are suitable for consideration for / development of delivery as sectoral (or cross sectoral) shared services. They have been prioritised for development over the coming 5 years.

The UCSS ISSC is now developing the business cases for the first two services which are open source e-learning services and information security services.

Local Government

The Local Government ICT Strategy was published in early 2013.  An interim report followed in 2014 and a final report in 2015. 

In May 2015, the Board took the decision to focus on digital transformation in the Scottish local government sector with the aim of identifying ways in which local government can work collaboratively and use digital technologies for the benefit of our citizens.

The Scottish Local Government Digital Transformation Board has developed an action plan which will be available for consultation in the next few months.

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All eHealth information and updates can be found on the eHealth website: http://www.ehealth.nhs.scot/

Some of the major developments and excellent progress with the overall aims of the Strategy are outlined below. The achievements highlighted are only some of the many initiatives that have come to fruition over the past year. 

eHealth Strategy 2014-2017

The third, and refreshed version, of the eHealth Strategy 2014-2017 was published in March 2015 with a realigned governance structure and emphasis on ensuring that technology areas, previously managed in the margins of eHealth, will become core to planning and delivery in order to deliver the desired service transformation.  The set of six eHealth Aims developed as part of the second 2011 eHealth Strategy remain appropriate for the next period of eHealth development together with an added seventh aim specifically in relation to innovation.

Primary Care Digital Services Development Fund

In June 2015 the Cabinet Secretary announced £6m over 3 years for the Primary Care Digital Services Development Fund, part of the wider Primary Care Fund to support and accelerate the use of digital service by GP practices, including enabling online appointment booking and repeat prescriptions and trialling enhanced digital services that aim to improve patient choices and access, and increase practice efficiency.  We know that digital services offer huge potential for improving patient access and self-management, and efficiency of the delivery of primary care service. We also intend to test new ways of working such as e-consultations and remote video conferencing which could help to create additional capacity and increase patient choice. The agreed funding profile is £2m per year for 3 years: 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. Our priorities over the next six months are to agree a fully developed programme mandate and maturity model, and to begin implementation, taking into account concurrent developments e.g. GP IT reprovisioning, development of patient portal.

Patient Portal

Continuing development of patient portals: the National Patient Portal, is already a commissioned area of work in 2015-16, going significantly broader than GP digital services, but funding from the Primary Care Digital Services Development Fund will be channelled as appropriate to this broader initiative. For this financial year funding for national patient portal definition and business case development has been allocated to the eHealth Leads West of Scotland group to support the national work.

Information Sharing Strategic Framework

The national Information Sharing Board (ISB) is coordinated by Scottish Government eHealth Division with cross-public sector representation from Local Authorities, NHSScotland, the Third Sector and the Scottish Government and has led the development of the Information Sharing Strategic Framework published, in February 2015, to give clarity on how information can be appropriately shared.  £1.5m has been made available in 2015/16 to partnerships through Health Boards to support partnership level information sharing activity.

The ISB recently commissioned the GIRFEC Information Sharing Landscape Study. Stage 1 is a stock take of ongoing activity to prepare for the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, specifically Part 4 that deals with the provision of Named Person Services and Part 5 that addresses the need for Statutory Child Plans. The overall purpose of Stage 1, that has now been completed, provides an overview of the current state of readiness for information sharing to meet the duties under the Act and to identify the associated key challenges that might usefully be addressed collaboratively at national level.  Stage 1 was based on discussions with a range of stakeholders including health, social care, education and IT services within individual NHS Board geographic areas, Police Scotland, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Improvement Service. This will provide a basis for Stage 2 of the study which will address more detailed technical analysis of the processes, information flows and system architecture required to support local implementation plans and ongoing activity.


The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Leadership Programme: eHealth Applications in Healthcare was developed and delivered by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in 2014-15 on behalf of Scottish Government with the aim of enhancing the NMAHP contribution to eHealth within Scotland. The programme enables nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to acquire enhanced leadership skills and an understanding of how technology can enhance person centred, safe and effective care. It supports NMAHP’s to influence the eHealth agenda at local and national levels, demonstrating innovation and creativity

We will continue to build on the NMAHP workforce development in line with NMAHP Leadership Programme and the Everyone Matters Workforce Implementation Plan to drive forward developments that will also include technology enabled skills for clinical support staff.


One vital view of the eHealth Vision in 2020 is the delivery of a consistent and up to date digital view of a patient’s medication history across all the pathways of health and care. A significant step towards achieving this goal has been taken with the approval of an Outline Business Case to procure a framework contract for a Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medications system (HEPMA) across NHSScotland. Although electronic prescribing is almost universal in primary care in Scotland acute hospital prescribing and recording of medication administration is predominantly paper based. HEPMA is commonly viewed as the vital missing piece of the digital medications jigsaw.

The Full Business Case for HEPMA is scheduled for completion and approval early 2016. Some NHS Boards will progress HEPMA as an earlier development than others depending on local priorities and resources. However, it is expected that most NHS Boards will have some elements of HEPMA operational by 2020.


The rollout of the national Patient Management System, Trakcare, which provides healthcare staff with electronic information about patients and their medical history, continues. NHS Orkney and The National Waiting Times Centre went ‘live’ with PMS in June 2015 – this brings the total to 10 out of 15 Health Boards.