Showing posts from November, 2018

It's about leadership, innit?

So, I'll get to the point. Leaders matter. Digital transformation is hard to do. And its impossible unless leaders 'get it'. But... Digital literacy among the senior civil service of the Welsh Government, the Chief Executives of Local Authorities and Health Boards, and Sponsored Bodies, is generally poor. And the same is true of political leaders. Digital transformation doesn’t succeed by chance. It takes decisive leadership that is prepared to challenge and be challenged, be resilient, make difficult decisions and focus on delivery. The Welsh Government has a Chief Digital Officer (who has done lots of good things from close to a standing start) but her writ doesn't run much beyond Cathays Park. She's the CDO for WG, not for Wales. There is no ‘guiding mind’ for digital developments across all public services to spread best practice, or to set digital service standards, or veto duplication and waste across the public sector. When Socitm assessed the digital leade

Does NWIS needs a reboot?

I've been blogging about each of the reports written for the Welsh Government in recent years on the state of digital in our public services as part of the digital panel I'm leading for the Welsh Government. My last blog on the subject covered the studies on digital in the NHS and summarised the findings of the Wales Audit Office Report, the Parliamentary Review and the WG's response 'A Healthier Wales'. The final piece of the jigsaw is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report ' Informatics Systems in NHS Wales' (full disclosure - I was heavily involved in writing it). The limitations of digital in NHS Wales have been features of a series of reports by the National Assembly’s cross-party Public Accounts Committee over the last two years. In its inquiries on hospital catering , as well as medicines managements , the committee uncovered delays of up to a decade in delivering IT projects. Following the Wales Audit Office report in January 2018 the committee

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

So I think we’ve established that things aren’t where they should be, and we’ve known this for quite some time. So what’s holding us back? Stripping it back to first principles I think there are two key issues emerging: leadership, and the concept of who services are designed for. On leadership, it is commonplace for a Chief Executive of a Health Board or a Local Authority to admit (without embarrassment) that they don't really 'do' Digital. When pressed, most will talk about digital interchangeably with IT. Many of our public services leaders are still on analogue mode. That has got to change (more on that in another blog post). On the concept of who services are designed for, I was struck by a conversation I had with the leadership at NWIS. When I asked if they had people specifically working on  User Research  I was met with blank looks. Whilst they do have people engaged in research and there is some user feedback, there are no posts in NHS Wales - or in Welsh Local G

Health checks...

The only thing dull about last week's Public Accounts Committee report into ' Informatics Systems in NHS Wales' report was the title. I played a part in writing the report but I'm no longer on the PAC and my focus has shifted to what we do about the problems it catalogued. As previously noted, I'm chairing a panel on Digital transformation for the Welsh Government and blogging what we're up to and thinking about as we go. And rather than reinventing the wheel I've been looking at the reports already published (but not yet fully acted upon) to see if there are conclusions and recommendations we should revisit. And guess what? There are! In this post I look at three reports on digital in health: the WAO Report, the Parliamentary Review and the WG's health strategy 'A Healthier Wales' (I've read them so you don't have to!). And won't add my commentary at this stage, but I'll let you digest my summaries, and simply quote M

Are Councils making the most of digital?

So as part of an attempt to open up with work of the panel on Digital transformation that I'm leading for the Welsh Government I'm blogging what we're up to and thinking about I'm conscious that there's already quite a bit of analysis out there on the state of digital in local government and the health service. In my last post I revisited David Jones' report from 2015, and in this post I'm looking again at the report on the digital maturity of Welsh councils. In April 2017 digital consultants Socitm advisory published the findings of their research on digital maturity in Welsh local authorities . They assessed how Councils were performing in six ‘digital dimensions’. When it came to digital transactions - the extent to which citizens can request services from the local authority website - Socitm found that Councils are not keeping up with the expectations of the public. No local authority provides an end to end, seamless transaction for all service

No point reinventing the wheel

Much has already been written about the state of digital in the Welsh public sector. As a starting point the panel on Digital Transformation that I've been asked to lead for the Welsh Government has decided to revisit the work done in recent years to reassess the findings of other reports and understand why little progress has been in made in implementing them. And rather than reinventing the wheel are there conclusions and recommendations from these existing reports that we should revisit? I'll blog on each of them in-turn. T he  SOCITM report on the digital maturity  of Welsh councils , the digital chapter in  A Healthier Wales: our Plan for Health and Social Care , and the WAO report and the forthcoming Senedd PAC report on NWIS.  In 2015 technology entrepreneur David Jones reviewed digital activity across Welsh local government. The report, Why Local Government Must Go Digital , found that the local government digital world is complex, sprawling and fragmented,