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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

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 on work to improve digital maturity across community pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community health (known collectively as PODAC).

The programme focus is to facilitate PODAC organisations, setting the desired core capabilities required to deliver NHS services. The programme 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

NHS Digital and the Transformation Directorate within NHS England are working together to "improve health and care productivity with digital technology", with a particular focus on increasing 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.

We have also developed a Future Enterprise Architecture for each PODAC setting. These are target operating models for IT suppliers, based on user priorities and NHS technologies and standards, both current and the follow on planned from 2023/24.

Proposals for each PODAC sector

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

We will also 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 your organisation 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 near future.

This research was used to develop the Future Enterprise Architecture and inform our wider work.

Contact us

If you require further information, please email us at [email protected].

Last edited: 31 August 2022 1:42 pm