Hear from GP Trainee and Clinical AI Fellow, Aiswarya Nagasubramony, who reflects on her involvement in developing a digital resource guide for the enhance programme.

Stepping into the world of healthcare as a junior doctor in the modern day can be a daunting feat. The post Covid era coupled with the rise in the ageing population has led to a large multimorbid population who have complex health and social care needs. In today's digital age, being a competent clinician requires more than just medical expertise - it demands a proficiency in digital skills and a generalist outlook that focuses on holistic patient care, streamlines processes, and drives digital innovation.

The Enhance Programme

The NHS Future Doctor Report highlights the critical importance of generalist skills in shaping the future of healthcare delivery. As healthcare systems continue to evolve towards integrated models of service delivery, doctors equipped with generalist skills are distinctly positioned to tackle emerging healthcare challenges.

The NHS England Enhancing Generalist Skills (enhance) Programme was formed following the NHS Future Doctor Report with the primary aim of equipping the NHS workforce with the generalist skills necessary to navigate the shift in healthcare delivery.

There are 6 domains to the enhance development programme, with four cross-cutting themes which are considered integral in executing the programme effectively.

6 domains

  • Person-centred - Treating patients in a holistic, coordinated manner, involving them in their decisions and supporting them to manage their own health.
  • Complex multimorbidity - Working together to optimise care for patients with complex co-morbidity, through shared decision making with patients, carers, and colleagues.
  • System working - Working beyond and across traditional organisational boundaries in integrated and innovative ways to improve health and wellbeing.
  • Population health - Improving health and wellbeing for all through preventive measures, addressing wider determinants of health and reducing health inequalities.
  • Social justice and health equity - Promoting a fair and just society and reducing health inequalities, with an ultimate aim of improving health and wellbeing of populations.
  • Environmental sustainability - Taking responsibility for adoption and spread of sustainable healthcare practices and being and advocate for action on environmental issues.

Four cross-cutting themes

  • Wellbeing - Prioritising taking care of yourself and others, with an awareness that strategies to support wellbeing may be unique to everyone.
  • Leadership - Promotion of compassionate, collaborative, and inclusive leadership with focusses on improving health and wellbeing.
  • Digital - promoting ethical use of digital technology to optimise healthcare outcomes, reduce health inequalities and facilitate collaboration and information sharing.
  • Transformative reflection - Using critical reflection to reframe and develop our own decision making, cultivating new perspectives on complex, uncertain situations.

Digital Resource Guide: Adopting a Digital Mindset

The increasing momentum in artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health tools in recent years has created a prime environment for technology-driven resources and solutions to promote generalist skills. Recently, I had the privilege of contributing to the “Digital Resource Guide: Adopting a Digital Mindset”, which was developed in collaboration with the enhance programme, educators, and prominent voices in the technology and AI space. The digital guide provides a roadmap for healthcare professionals at any stage of digital literacy looking to embrace digital transformation in their practice.

Being part of the digital guide as a Clinical AI fellow during my GP training provided me with a unique opportunity to help empower healthcare professionals looking to start their digital literacy journey. It also encouraged me to reflect on my own capabilities when it came to digital literacy and how best to continue my professional development with technology at the core. It supported me in incorporating a digital lens during my day to day as a clinician, by integrating readily available digital tools such as electronic health records (EHRs), health monitoring apps, and eTriage systems in primary care to optimise patient care. The implementation of tools such as the NHS App, Dr. IQ, and Accurx at my GP practice has facilitated automation of admin tasks and improved patient communication.

Additionally, the process of developing the digital guide ignited conversations about the barriers to digital transformation in primary care, including infrastructure issues, resistance to change, and workload-related factors. With the immense workload related pressures surrounding service provision, it can often be a challenge to embrace new technology which may require retraining and reforming of the existing healthcare infrastructure. For instance, 10-minute appointments provide limited opportunity to engage and experiment with novel technology in the primary care setting. The guide offers inspiration and guidance as well as practical solutions around such barriers through real world examples.

A priority for the digital guide was to provide a carefully curated list of digital and educational resources for professional development. This process helped me uncover a wide array of resources available for self-directed learning and professional development, some of which include innovative digital platforms and virtual learning environments created by the enhance programme for development in the 6 domains.

The collaborative nature of developing the digital guide has helped us cultivate a platform where healthcare professionals can learn from their peers, keep up to date with digital trends, and collectively drive innovation in healthcare delivery. The goal of this guide is to promote ethical use of digital technology to optimise healthcare outcomes, reduce health inequalities and facilitate collaboration and information sharing.

Looking to the future

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, digital skills are no longer a luxury but a necessity for medical generalists. The Digital Resource Guide represents a significant milestone for the enhance programme in equipping healthcare professionals with the resources necessary to leverage technology in patient care. Through my involvement in the guide along with my experience as a clinician, I have been able to witness firsthand the transformative potential of digital tools in clinical practice and the value of collaboration in driving innovation and confidence in technology. Moving forward, I hope that everyone uses the digital guide as a starting point to be involved in opportunities to learn about and implement new digital tools in clinical practice. As I see it, the momentum of digital transformation isn't showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. So, why wait? It's time to hop on board this exciting journey sooner rather than later.


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Aiswarya Nagasubramony

GP Trainee and Clinical AI Fellow

Page last reviewed: 15 May 2024
Next review due: 15 May 2024