IBM Consulting with NHS England

Technology Transformation

MCA Awards Finalist 2024

The NHS App, serves as a ‘digital front door’ in bringing healthcare directly to citizens. With 75.1% of adults in England now registered, a user base of 33 million and 500,000 daily logins, the App plays a crucial role in alleviating pressure on frontline services in an effective and cost-efficient manner, whilst operating seamlessly within a broader ecosystem of services.

In Autumn 2022, IBM secured the contract to work with NHS England on the running and transformation of the NHS App. Focus was on accelerating the breadth of services offered driving channel shift, improving patient experience and ultimately health outcomes. With NHSE leading strategy and direction, IBM worked in partnership enabling growth and the delivery of the product roadmap. Thus, accelerating the adoption of digital technology to improve citizen experience, whilst reducing system pressure and delivering immediate transformational value.

The Mobile First programme, focused on delivering strategic changes to increase adoption, as well as the services available to citizens, landed just as IBM were completing a 3-month transition from the incumbent supplier.  The NHS App is a product led, agile programme, ministerially and policy driven, which required the team in 2023 to scale from ~70 to ~240 in 6 months. We established a dedicated talent team, focusing daily on supplying the right talent at the right time for the NHS.

IBM worked with NHS-England to tackle delivery challenges by:

  1. Establishing a ‘rainbow team” collaborative model, harnessing close bonds with key delivery partners and client stakeholders.
  2. Developing product backlogs that guided NHS App Product roadmaps through quarterly Programme Increment planning.
  3. Taking a user centred design approach, focusing on citizen needs
  4. Deploying feature releases into production every 2-weeks by creating a release process that integrated outputs of all squads into release packages that could be quality and clinically assured and deployed to production.

Together we:

  1. Fully integrated 111 online into NHS App
  2. ‘Book a Vaccine’ enabling citizens to book flu & COVID vaccines via the NHS App
  3. Provided the capability to access GP records for 23m adults in England
  4. Launched new prescriptions barcode functionality, giving citizens access to medicines without a nominated pharmacy providing greater flexibility and efficiency
  5. Enabled ~2m messages to be sent via the NHS App weekly.

By delivering the “Mobile First” programme in 2023, focus is on how patients could use digital channels to self-serve for healthcare needs, IBM and NHS-England have delivered transformative technology which has resulted in three quarters of adults in England now signed up to the NHS App, double the UK subscriber base of Netflix! We continue to jointly enhance the services we offer citizens, improving citizen experience and maximising the value of technology to ease pressure on services the NHS provides.

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