NHSE shares specification for system co-ordination centres, including digital software requirements and metrics to be monitored

NHS England logo white lettering with blue background

Written by Kath Robbins

October 9, 2023

NHS England has released its System Co-ordination Centre (SCC) specification framework, building on the minimum viable product for system control centres guidance that it released at the end of 2022 and outlining the purpose, key deliverables and minimum operating requirements for SCCs to meet for winter 2023/24.

In terms of data and digital, the framework highlights how SCCs will be expected to ensure that digital enablement meets the technical guidance issued for Smart System Control by NHS England.

It goes on to specify that SCCs should have the software and processes in place to monitor key metrics including acute hospital operation pressure escalation levels (OPEL) score; NHS 111 performance and compliance with standards; number of patients in the emergency department; number and percentage of patients spending more than four hours and 12 hours in the emergency department from arrival; the current, prospective and potential general and acute capacity; critical care capacity; and virtual ward capacity and occupancy. In addition, ambulance metrics should be measured including ambulance provider resource escalation action plan (REAP) and. clinical safety plan (CSP) level; category 1, 2 and 3 ambulance response times; and ambulance-to-provider handover volume.

The framework states that digital software should have, at a minimum, the capabilities to evolve to include real-time metrics from primary care, mental health, community and social care; be accessible through desktop and mobile devices; and be able to provide notifications for users on “locally determined thresholds for metrics to trigger rapid action and decision-making”.

In order to “ensure national, regional and ICS alignment on operational and performance data”, SCCs will have devolved access for their ICB-level data to dashboards including national urgent and emergency care daily situation report; national ambulance performance; national 111 data covering historical and real-time performance; primary care data and insights; mental health pathway; virtual ward utilisation and occupancy; discharge and length of stay; national ambulance performance dashboard; and capacity tracker.

The framework holds that ICBs will need to ensure that the SCC team can access data in a variety of areas to “support proactive planning and co-ordination of local pressures”. This includes data on the health of the population; relevant demand and capacity planning data; system-agreed recovery trajectories for urgent and emergency care standards and locally-agreed improvement trajectories; benchmarking data; access and visibility of real-time data that covers various ICS pathways; and local Healthwatch data and other similar reports on patient experience with regards to local services.

Earlier this month, we reported on NHS England’s winter resilience plans, and the role of system co-ordination centres in allowing ICBs to maintain 24/7 oversight to ensure they can support winter pressures.

To read the System Co-ordination Centre specification in full, please click here.

CREDIT & FULL ARTICLE: HTN – https://htn.co.uk/2023/08/16/specification-for-nhses-system-co-ordination-centres-including-digital-software-requirements-and-metrics-to-be-monitored/

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