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Digital Community Pharmacy, Optometry, Dentistry, Ambulance, Community Care (PODAC) Programme

Improving digitalisation and connectivity in digital community pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community health (PODAC) and the rest of the NHS.

The NHS PODAC programme is leading work to improve digital maturity across the five PODAC sectors of digital community pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community health.

The programme focuses on facilitating PODAC organisations to deliver NHS services by setting the desired core capabilities. It aims to empower PODAC sectors to use digital innovations to improve connection to the wider NHS system, provide access to clinical information for direct care and enable health and care staff to direct more time to patient care.

Our role

We are working with the Transformation Directorate within NHS England and NHS Improvement to "improve health and care productivity with digital technology", particularly to increase digitisation across care settings.

Through extensive strategic, user and supplier research involving a wide range of stakeholders, we were able to understand the crucial digital priorities, user needs and service requirements in each sector. This learning has been used to identify NHS Digital products and services that have the potential to integrate care and improve information sharing, and are appropriate to user requirements.

Proposals for each PODAC sector

These webpages showcase the findings of our research including the proposed models, benefits and outcomes of improved digitisation for each of the 5 PODAC sectors.

We provide information on the potential digital solutions for each of the PODAC sectors that could assist with interoperability and information sharing between different organisations and their systems. This information will assist organisations delivering NHS care to choose the right digital product to improve access to the right clinical information.

Our user research

We have undertaken extensive user research over the last year to identify gaps in the digital communications and data sharing infrastructure of PODAC sectors. We will publish a summary of this research in the coming weeks.

Contact us

If you require further information, please email us at

Last edited: 1 April 2022 4:12 pm