Matthew Gould confirms LHCRE and GDE programmes are here to stay


The CEO of NHSX has confirmed in a blog post that two flagship NHS digitalisation projects are here to stay.

Published on 24 June, ahead of NHSX’s official launch on 1 July, Matthew Gould, confirmed the Local Health and Care Records Exemplar (LHCRE) and Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) projects will continue.

The LHCRE programme focuses on supporting interoperability and the joining up of data across population and place while the GDE programme focuses on creating sites of digital excellence.

However, the latter, according to Gould will have “more emphasis on the parts of the NHS that need most help”.

He also confirmed the NHS Digital Academy was also here to stay.

Gould also added that some projects will be closing due to the fact “they have delivered on their objectives and are being moved to live services, or because we want them to become a mainstream part of the way we design and deliver digital services in the NHS, not just a discrete project”.

The projects being closed are:

  • NHS Wifi, which was successfully delivered in March 2019
  • Access to Service Information: which is moving to live on the basis that the team will deliver a Directory of Services that will function as a canonical data register, as well as a bookings and referrals management system
  • Digitising Community Pharmacy: which is completing the Electronic Prescription Service and moving to live
  • Medicines Data and Integrating Pharmacy Across Care Settings: these programmes are stopping. Their aims will be incorporated into the NHS’s work on interoperability, as well as a specific piece of work on linking pharmacists, optometrists and dentists into mainstream NHS processes

Gould also confirms in the blog that NHSX has carried out a “major review of NHS tech spending” which led to the above projects being closed.

He adds: “There is more spending to look at and we will never stop trying to find ways of smarter working. We’re not done yet.

“For now though this process has been a hugely valuable exercise, bringing together the entire tech leadership of the NHS to thrash out agreement in exactly the way that NHSX was designed to do.”

Gould’s latest blog post follows on from a previous one which focused on the NHS App. In it he suggested no more features should be added to the NHS App and instead innovators should be encouraged to build on top of it.

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