Prof. Maureen Baker CBE, Chair
“As we stand on the cusp of new and exciting possibilities around uses of data and analytics, it has never been more important to ensure that the people and professionals who will be using it are at the centre of decision-making.”
10 years of achievements
This year is a watershed for PRSB, with 2023 marking a decade since PRSB was founded. From small beginnings with a few staff and members we have grown to become the authoritative voice on information record standards representing the needs of professionals, people, suppliers, and organisations that provide care, spanning the four nations of the United Kingdom, working at the forefront of digital transformation.
Our unique ability to convene our membership and wider networks, is highly valued and helps us attract new members and retain existing ones as we strive through new and innovative ways to ensure that the use of standards becomes the norm for people and professionals.
PRSB, as with every health and care organisation, has been impacted by the uncertainty and changes of the past year. However, our stakeholders’ continued belief in PRSB and its founding principles have enabled us to adapt and progress, and this has sustained us during this period.
Like never before, digital, data and technology has gripped the public imagination, and it is increasingly viewed as integral to the future of the NHS and social care. Nationally, we can see the debate around uses of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural language processing feature regularly at health and care conferences, and in the media and there is widespread interest in NHS England’s procurement of the Federated Data Platform, which aims to help the NHS and social care use data better to coordinate care and plan services.
PRSB is actively engaging in discussions about these developments with our Advisory Board playing a pivotal role in bringing together the views of professionals, people and industry. I firmly believe that standards and interoperability are critical to their successful delivery – they hold out huge promise for advancing how we provide care, without replacing the fundamental caring relationship between professionals and the people we serve.
Our network is our strength
In the past year we have been delighted to welcome 16 new members including six organisations representing social care interests. Their membership helps us to better reflect and embody the views and needs of social care, which is critical to integrated care.
As a UK-wide organisation, PRSB is committed to much greater inclusivity and relevance of our work across all UK nations. Our standards development projects routinely include representatives from Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. In the past year we worked on mapping key components of PRSB standards to the International Patient Summary, working with colleagues in Scotland and elsewhere, to ensure that people’s health and care information is available abroad, when it is needed. Our Advisory Board discussed the data strategies in Scotland and Wales and alignment of PRSB and national standards.
Our quarterly Advisory Board meetings are the key forum in which our members discuss important issues and challenges related to standards and interoperability in the broader context of digital transformation. Our discussions have ranged widely and helped shape thinking and priorities at a national level, reaffirming the importance of the collective voice of our members.
Topics covered included patient safety risks related to the lack of an appropriate and standardised approach to recording transgender or non-binary individuals’ demographic details, professional and public engagement in NHS England’s Federated Data Platform programme and the role of standards in the future of artificial intelligence in health and care.
We have made good progress in ensuring PRSB speaks for its members in key decision-making forums with system leaders and that our views influence how digital transformation in health and care is achieved. I joined the UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee as a specialist panel member to their inquiry on digital transformation, briefing the committee on the importance of standards to information sharing and integrating care and the need to speed the pace of adoption. We also gave evidence to the Committee’s Expert Panel which issued its own report on digital transformation rating overall progress as ‘inadequate’.
PRSB also contributed to the NHS Innovation and Life Sciences Inquiry on data for health and care, co-chaired by Lord O’Shaughnessy and Mike Bewick, stressing the importance of standards as key to the UK’s ambitions to become global powerhouse in life sciences.
PRSB is increasing its influence with the media, and via key national events and conferences where our views and perspective on standards, interoperability and digital transformation are sought after. We are utilising public policy forums that bring together parliamentarians, professionals, the public and media and we have launched a regular monthly thought leadership column with DHI News that is expanding our reach and influence.
Bringing bright talents and important voices together
We have expanded the skills and talents of our Board, appointing Chris Graham, Group CEO of Picker Europe as a new Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Finance Committee. Chris brings his expertise in research and evaluation, coupled with a long-standing professional interest in person-centred care, and user experience to the Board. Derek Felton stepped down as a Non-Executive Director in 2022. I want to thank Derek wholeheartedly for the magnificent work he did as Chair of the Finance Committee. His business acumen, sector knowledge and relationships with key stakeholders has contributed greatly to our success.
I want to also thank Andrew Hall, a special adviser to PRSB. His wise counsel, organisational development expertise and help in growing relations with the four nations were invaluable.
Looking ahead we aim to grow our membership, targeting professional groups and expanding the participation of patient-representative groups. Equally, we intend to build on the important conversations that our Advisory Board members have raised during the past year and seek to set the national agenda around the issues that matter most to the professions and people.
As we stand on the cusp of new and exciting possibilities around uses of data and analytics, it has never been more important to ensure that the people and professionals who will be using it are at the centre of decision-making, and PRSB plays its part in shaping these conversations.
I want to thank PRSB’s members whose commitment and contributions to our success are unequaled. I also want to thank our supplier Partners, who are partners in the truest sense of the word. We value your belief in us and our cause and we benefit greatly from your being part of our community. We hope that we have delivered value for you and look forward to working with you to deliver our vision in the months and years ahead.