As the financial year was drawing to a close the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, changing the approach and priorities of not just the NHS, but every aspect of life.

Nationally the AHSN Network was, and remains, part of a coordinated NHS response to identify and implement technologies and other interventions that respond to high priority need.

At KSS AHSN we have seconded staff to support the central effort to ramp up testing for COVID-19. Locally, we were involved with solutions for remote consultation and triage, patient monitoring in out-of-hospital settings, diagnostics and point-of-care testing, and even channelling offers of PPE, ventilator support, or COVID-19 testing from industry to relevant national leads.

Digital solutions have played, and will continue to play, a huge role in meeting the challenges of COVID-19.

KSS AHSN was proud to lead a blended Digital Transformation Team that saw colleagues from KSS AHSN, Oxford and Wessex AHSNs and local CSUs supporting the NHSE/I Digital First Programme in the South East, working alongside local digital teams to deliver transformation at pace.

As a result, most GP practices in the South East now have the ability to use video and online consultations with patients, with the team largely delivering an objective planned for a year’s time in just seven weeks.

They are now continuing to support ICS/STPs across the South East to bring similar technologies into care homes. They are also supporting the development of the longer term strategy for NHSE/I’s Digital First Programme in the South East, and are working with local system partners to support the development of five-year digital roadmaps to deliver digital transformation across the region through, and after, COVID-19.