NHS England’s information director has acknowledged trusts will need “incentives” as well as “consequences” to encourage them to hit new national standards for information technology.

Tim Kelsey spoke to HSJ as the pan-NHS National Information Board set out plans to give regulators a role taking action against trusts that were missing the proposed targets.

The board’s strategy document, Personalised Health and Care 2020, revealed the new data quality standards would be published next October, and trusts would be regulated against them from April 2016.

However, Mr Kelsey said details of what sort of regulatory action might be taken still needed to be worked out.

The NHS England national director for patients and information added: “We agree with the NHS Five Year Forward View that it can’t just be a matter of consequences but we must also develop incentives.

Tim Kelsey at Confed 2013

Tim Kelsey said NHS England ‘will be thinking differently about how we incentivise the system’

“There is an important [part of Personalised Health and Care 2020] which is about developing data standards to support new tariff incentives in terms of new models care.

“I think we will be thinking differently about how we incentivise the system.”

The document says new data quality standards developed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Care Quality Commission, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority will be published by October 2015.

They will be for all NHS care providers, and will include standards for “the progressive improvement in the timeliness, accuracy and completeness with which data is entered into electronic records and made accessible to carers and patients”.

“The CQC will from April 2016 take performance against these data quality standards into consideration, as part of its regulatory regime,” the document adds.

The strategy also reveals that Health Education England will outline a new informatics training programme by April 2016.

It states: “Health Education England, working with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, will introduce a new knowledge and skills framework for all levels of the health, care and social care workforce to embrace information, data and technology in the context of a rapidly changing digital environment.

“By April 2016 the [information centre] will work with national and local partners to agree a revised definition of the health, care and social care informatics profession.

“The longer term vision involves the development of a Faculty for Health Informatics for medical practitioners and a Federation for Informatics Professionals for non-clinicians.

“The latter will launch an Informatics Career Framework to support the development and professionalisation of informatics specialists. The federation will engage with stakeholders to determine whether a voluntary registration based model or professional regulation is appropriate.”

National tech blueprint sets greater role for regulators