Usher Institute

Experts to evaluate NHS tech scheme

The impact of a flagship NHS programme aimed at improving the use of digital technology in hospitals is to be assessed.

Researchers have been commissioned to examine an ambitious new programme that will support some of England’s most digitally advanced hospitals.

The programme is helping other sites learn from the hospitals’ experiences and spread best practice in the NHS.

Digital excellence

A team of experts will assess the impact of an initiative that is helping digitally advanced providers to pioneer the integration of digital technologies into patient care.

The aim is to help the NHS take full advantage of the benefits associated with health information technology.

There is now widespread recognition that the NHS needs to evolve to provide higher quality, safer, more efficient healthcare that is delivered in patient-centred ways.  Our work with leading international health systems has found that investing in digital and data science capacity is crucial to realising these goals.

Professor Aziz SheikhDirector, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics

Global Digital Exemplars

NHS England’s Global Digital Exemplar programme was launched in August 2016 to help establish proven pathways of introducing IT innovations that can be rolled out across the NHS more broadly.

There are currently 16 Acute Trusts and seven Mental Health Trusts taking part.

Each is working on exciting digital projects, including providing doctors with faster access to accurate information, as well as improving patient monitoring at the bedside.

We are delighted to have been commissioned to evaluate this important national initiative.  Our aim is to provide timely, constructive advice to NHS England on how the patient benefits from this investment can be maximised.

Professor Robin Williams & Dr Kathrin CresswellProject leads, University of Edinburgh


Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have been commissioned by NHS England to lead the evaluation in collaboration with experts at UCL (University College London), Harvard Medical School and NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (Arden & GEM).

The team will engage with NHS staff, as well as international centres of excellence in healthcare provision, to gather valuable feedback for policy makers and managers.


Based on this feedback, the three year research project will make recommendations to support the efforts of leading health providers to achieve international best practice in digital health.

Supporting exceptional care through digital technology is at the heart of the Global Digital Exemplar programme. This evaluation will make an important contribution to accelerating wider digitisation across the NHS.

John ParkesManaging Director, NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

The team at the University of Edinburgh includes experts from the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics, the School of Social and Political Science and the Business School.

Related links

Global Digital Examplars Programme Evaluation

School of Social and Political Science

University of Edinburgh Business School

Edinburgh Medical School