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Public sector bodies win Digital Leaders accolades



DVLA, Camden Council, a group of London NHS trusts and the Office of National Statistics emerge as winners

A handful of public sector organisations have won top prizes in the Digital Leaders DL100 Awards, for efforts ranging from the notification of medical conditions to online local government digitalisation to cyber resilience.

Winner of the award for Digital Public Service Innovation of the Year was the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for its Online Fitness to Drive Service.

This provides a quick and secure way for drivers to declare if they have a condition that may affect their ability to drive safely, and covers more than 200 medical conditions with instant licensing advice.

It makes it possible for drivers to notify the DVLA that they have conditions and renew short term driving licences, and has helped to simplify what can be a complex and sensitive process.

The London Borough of Camden was named Digital Council of the Year, for a number of efforts that the judges said have provided a “groundbreaking blueprint for the future delivery of digital government”. These include the Open Data Camden website, Care Integrated Digital Record website, the Child Protection Information Sharing Project, and the Digital Rooftops initiative to build connectivity.

Cross-sector prize

A group of London NHS trusts, local authorities and private sector collaborators won the prize for Cross-Sector Digital Collaboration of the Year with SH:24 project. This involved Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, King's College London, Lambeth and Southwark councils, The Doctor's Laboratory, Pharmadex, GSTT Charity and SXT.

SH:24 is a free online sexual and reproductive health service that offers free tests for sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia treatment and contraception. The service was developed as a digital solution to clinical overcrowding in Lambeth and Southwark, where people were queuing and often being turned away, and was developed with over 4,000 users.

It is quick and discreet, redirecting simple cases online, freeing up clinical capacity for more complex cases and creating significant savings.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) picked up the prize for Cyber Resilience Innovation of the Year for its Five Safes framework. This enables researchers to use detailed, unpublished data without compromising confidentiality by combining an accredited, secure research environment with robust controls on the users and uses of data to protect confidentiality.

At the same time it makes it possible to carry out research that delivers significant public benefits.

Inclusion achievement

A notable winner from the third sector is also known for working closely with the public sector. Helen Milner was named Digital Leader of the Year for her work as chief executive officer of the Good Things Foundation, a digital inclusion charity that has helped more than 2 million people learn basic digital skills over the past seven years.

She has been working with NHS Digital on its digital participation push, supporting a programme that will involve 20 initiatives over the next three years.

In July of last year, the organisation, then known as the Tinder Foundation, published a report that saying that almost 222,000 people, 82% from socially excluded groups, had been trained to use the tools. This produced reductions in the number of calls and visits to GPs, calls to NHS 111 and A&E visits, and increases in online booking for GP appointments and repeat prescriptions.

Image from Garry Knight, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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