2021.04.07 WEB MPFT Digital Champions - original project group.jpg

The development of our digital champions has been recognised as an example of good practice by Health Education England (HEE) in a national HEE toolkit released today. The digital champions 12 month pilot project aimed to enable front line workers to roll out digital initiatives within their own service, with the intention of delivering benefits to patients and service users, their teams and the wider organisation.

Building upon MPFT’s digital strategy, which is aligned to regional and national aspirations for health and care, initial funding for the pilot project was provided by West Midlands HEE via a local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) in November 2018. This gave MPFT the means to launch and develop the digital champions group; a network of self-motivated digital champions, whose approach would be adopted and embedded by the organisation over time, and whose initiatives would also be adopted in standard operating processes.

Initially, the champions group comprised of information management and technology, quality improvement and frontline staff, whose aim was to make frontline colleagues confident in the use of low level technology. The focus of the group was on the testing of virtual consultations, text reminder apps, Facebook and the creation of a streamlined process for the use of NHS approved apps.

Today, the digital champions group has become a well-recognised and valued group within MPFT, now comprising of over 280 members, it has become so much more than the original objective. Celine Grundy, who was a lead on the project for MPFT said, “At MPFT staff members are encouraged to suggest and implement ways to improve our services for our service users and staff members alike, so we were very pleased to have the opportunity to deliver this project in partnership with our local STP.

“I’m pleased to see that the journey of our champions and the outcomes of the project are highlighted and celebrated within the case study. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this group, as it demonstrates how a collaborative approach where frontline staff , information management and technology, and quality improvement colleagues working together, can achieve such strong links and positive outcomes, which is a credit to all staff involved.”

Dr Ruth Chambers OBE, MD, FRCGP, Staffordshire STP’s clinical lead for technology enabled care services programme, digital workstream said, “I think that MPFT’s digital champions have achieved great things in creating and supporting so many digital initiatives across the Trust in so many settings. The Clarity review and HEE ownership of the case study will mean that many others can learn from their endeavours.”

The toolkit can be viewed on the HEE website: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/digital-literacy/digital-champions-programme-toolkit

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