Known as business as usual (BAU) operations, or Ops, we support the ‘maintain’ aspects of live service management. We work with three main parties:
- NHS Digital, (this includes programmes, projects, subject matter experts and directorates)
- our technology partners, such as third-party system developers and suppliers and NHS Digital development teams
- Health and Social Care (HSC) organisations
Our two core roles are transition and BAU operations.
The primary role of the operations function is to provide a permanent home for products and services after they have been developed by programmes, projects or development teams and are ready to be made available to our external customers. Moving home involves a process called transition (to ops).
Our second role is to put products, services and applications in the hands of health and care professionals, “to transform the NHS and social care”. There are various ‘BAU operations’ processes to achieve this, depending on the type of data or service and the external organisations involved. These include the following processes.
This process involves providing the technology partner with access to an NHS Digital dataset or service that they will often integrate with their HSC applications or systems. The onboarding process has a risk management and assurance focus to ensure that we, our technology partners and HSC organisations take appropriate responsibility for using data safely to provide health and care services.
Once a product, service or application is being used by an HSC organisation, the operations function continues to monitor technology partners and the deploying organisation for compliance with relevant requirements and standards (these vary with the data, product or service). As with the onboarding process, the emphasis is upon self-assurance by our partners and deploying organisations, but the operations function provides an oversight and governance role.
As the demand on NHS Digital’s services changes, our products, services and applications need to evolve to meet those changing demands. Our product management role is to assess changes and developments and implement them based on impact and urgency. These changes may be mandated, imposed due to statutory changes or needed to improve functionality.