Anne Cooper, The Chief Nurse from NHS Digital, was a recent visitor to Morecambe Bay to see some of the work being delivered as part of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s (UHMBT) Electronic Patient Record (EPR) Optimisation Programme.
During her tour of the Trust, Anne spoke to a number of doctors and nurses and gained a better understanding of the programme of work the Trust has committed to in order to improve the EPR. These changes are designed to ensure that the EPR delivers faster and better quality clinical information to the clinicians and nurses at the point of care.
Anne Cooper said: “It’s encouraging for me to see how clearly nursing is leading its own way here in terms of digital maturity and how it’s become embedded into the nursing culture. The really strong, powerful nursing leadership here means Morecambe Bay are really setting the pace. It’s really encouraging from a professional point of view to be somewhere were that’s happening.
“I spend a lot of my time talking about how important information at the point of care is and how important it is that we understand outcomes properly and how important a piece of that jigsaw is the information technology and data. Quite often I am speaking in an abstract because I have a national role that is about trying to move a massive profession into a new modern space.
“Morecambe Bay has given me an opportunity to talk about it in the real sense so I can point to this as a place where some of these things are now a reality. I have seen things here that are real. This is a place where they have taken nursing documentation really seriously and ambitiously and are enacting that and using the data from that to look at performance and so on. That’s real. I would aspire to bring some of that spotlight onto Morecambe Bay so that it can be talked about in the professional field as an example.”
Anne is a creative, bold and ambitious senior clinical leader with a background in nursing, informatics and organisational development. Among her many achievements, she featured in the Nursing Times and HSJ top social pioneers in health and on the 50 inspirational women in the NHS for 2014. Anne is also a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.
She has delivered a strategic change agenda that has seen the integration of clinical informatics leadership with policy and practice. Anne is passionate about the use of information for both patients and the service with the overarching ambition to improve the quality and safety of the service offered. Anne also is passionate about empowering patients through the provision of information that supports people to take an active role in their health.
Joanne Morse, Deputy Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “It was a real coup for Morecambe Bay that Anne took time out of her busy schedule to come and visit us. Clearly news of the excellent progress we have made with our EPR with innovations such as the Digital Nursing Record, electronic whiteboards and nursing iPods strike a real chord with Anne.
“We embrace digital technology in most aspects of our lives. We talk to our family and friends, shop, arrange our travel, find our recipes for meal planning and order taxis. The tools we use to live our modern lives are woven through them like invisible strands. Yet in most health care delivery it often feels like a history tour where we are transported back in time. I know that Anne feels that at Morecambe Bay we really have embraced the opportunity that most other NHS Organisations miss to embrace the technology to deliver safer care.”
Anne was also accompanied by Mark Simpson who is an Emergency Department Consultant, Clinical Chief Information Officer, and Clinical Director of Acute & Emergency Medicine at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Mark is also the chair of the National Lorenzo User Group.
Mark Simpson said: “As chair for the National User Group, the reason why I came was in essence to see what you were all up to. It’s the second time that I have had the pleasure of being here. I think from a reflection of all those years ago when I was here the last time, it’s taking away how you have been able to transition from the National System to your own local version through the new contract, still keeping all of what you had delivered and building on it. I think your enthusiasm as a trust is clear testament to the team that you’ve got.”
“You are already thinking next step. That’s the thing I will take away from today. Whether it be your mobile maternity or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or voice recognition it’s the orchestration of all that. How does it fit nicely and neatly and still keep your board happy and keep finance directors in tune with it and still keep your staff as willing participants.”