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DWP aims to digitise medical info request process


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is looking to automate its requests to the NHS for medical information through a new digital service.

It is part of the effort to streamline its data sharing with NHS organisations for the administration of health related benefits.

The department has indicated that it wants to move away from manual processes to an automation of routine requests – for information such as diagnosed conditions and hospital stays – and a digital channel for the more ad hoc questions – such as how a condition affects a patient day-to-day.

It has issued a procurement notice for support on an alpha and pre-beta project, aimed at giving its own agents quick access to verified medical information and making its processing as easy as possible for medical staff.

It has carried out informal conversations with organisations and identified emerging technologies to support interoperability, and is now looking for proposals on how to take the work forward.

An existing team is building a system to capture information from people and present it to DWP agents, and the department now wants to build requests for medical information into the system.

Lack of understanding

Among its findings from a discovery project have been that people do not always have or understand the information needed for their benefits applications, and that GPs often pass on requests around their patients’ functional capability to secondary and community care providers.

The DWP has been among government’s leaders in the automation of manual processes, with an Intelligent Automation Garage unit focused on such projects.

Image from iStock, Natalie Mis

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