Health data concept depicting NHS England's federated data platform

Medical leaders endorse federated data platform as NHS England kicks off public engagement campaign

Health leaders across England have penned an open letter highlighting why the NHS is in need of the incoming national data system.

The letter features several pilots showcasing the benefits of data and why a platform joining up the nation’s information could improve the health system as a whole.

Included in this is a cancer patient tracking tool at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust which significantly reduced waiting times, and a system that joined up data related to discharge issues at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and thus cut long-term stays by 36%.

The so-called federated data platform (FDP) is characterised by NHS England as only something that will join up disparate datasets – not a data collection in of itself. The letter endorsing it has been co-signed by over a dozen medical directors/chief medical officers in England.

It opened: “As frontline clinicians with extensive experience of working in the NHS, we have all felt the frustrations when systems, processes, and people don’t talk to each other as well as they should.”

The news comes shortly after NHS England announced it would consult with the public on the use of their data, with the FDP the centre of its national engagement.

“Our endorsement of the FDP is based on our extensive experience and involvement in pilot initiatives, where we have witnessed the potential benefits of this technology in optimising medical practices, improving patient outcomes and ensuring the security of healthcare data.”

Optimising efficiency, empowering clinicians, and enhancing data security are all earmarked as catalysts for what could be a new era of “elevated patient care” provided by the data platform, according to the medical leaders.

Image credit: iStock

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