Mark Needham

Director of Contracting

NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Bio: Mark is an experienced NHS Director working in service transformation in London and South East over the past ten years. He is passionate about promoting prevention, access and engagement to health and care services through digital pathways.

Mark began his career as Psychological Therapist in the community with young people who fell between the gaps of traditional health and care services in Manchester. During this time, he became involved in online support to promote outreach to engage young people and over the past few years Mark has worked with IT and digital in primary care.

This summer, during the lockdown, he was asked to take on leadership responsibilities and deliver Digital First programme at pace. They rapidly supported 205 practices supporting 1.8 million patients. 95% of practices to provide online, video as well as remote working.

This encouraged Mark to co-lead a successful bid with NHSX to improve digital access to care homes and apply for the pioneer programme. 

Project summary: Digital Care Homes – with winter pressures coming there is a timely opportunity to expand the use of digital technology to provide remote care and monitoring to patients who are residents in care homes, including for those with COVID-19 symptoms.

Kent and Medway have won national funding from NHSX for the digital care homes programme. This project will create a digital bridge to care homes and promote equal access to health and care. They will do this by using simple technology that works.

The project will scale up to support 415 of 600 care homes in Kent and Medway; supporting 12,000 residents (at anyone time) and 30,000 staff. Plus 100 homes in Surrey, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (IoW).
This includes delivery of:

• Digital literacy programme to develop digital skills in care homes
• Business change management to enable care home utilisation of range of digital tools
• Digital dashboard with data insights and an evaluation framework.

The support programme will help care homes to use video consultations and online consultations so patients can access primary care remotely; improve care coordination and support communication between care homes and practices.

Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: This is large scale project looking to support 415 care homes and their staff.

Goal(s) for the programme: To build a digital bridge to care homes – connecting homes to Digital First platform in primary care;

To improve access to health and care services;

To ensure a sustainable programme that helps homes through winter with better outcomes for patients and to produce a blueprint for national development.