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Directorate of Digital

The Directorate of Digital is responsible for: 

BSO ITS is responsible for the provision of a wide range of ICT services across the HSC, HSC regional Arms-Length bodies and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS). These services range from the routine support of large, complex clinical, business and social care systems to the procurement and implementation of large projects/programmes supporting the ongoing modernisation and transformation of Health Care in Northern Ireland. ITS supports over 80,000 users across nearly 300 systems and is responsible for annual ICT expenditure of around £60 million.

ITS is currently responsible for the delivery of 71 regional technology programmes/projects and supporting critical systems throughout the region. During 2018-19 46 commissioned projects/programmes were completed.

The Honest Broker Service (HBS) was set up to:

Streamline the process of data sharing;
Protect service user confidentiality and privacy;
Provide access to data for HSC management, monitoring and public health surveillance;
Facilitate the provision of anonymised data for ethically approved research, in the overall interest of public health and the development of health and social care related policy and;
Enable data linkage across separate datasets to maximise value.

Non-research projects have supported the Department of Health, Public Health Agency (PHA), Trusts and the Northern Ireland Cancer Network in performance management, clinical audits and service evaluation in areas as diverse as Antimicrobial use in Northern Ireland and analysis of long-term conditions and Patient Experience.

Recent research projects have included various studies related to patients with dementia; and an investigation of the link between maternal body mass index in early pregnancy and incidence of cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland.

The role of the Office for Research Ethics Committees Northern Ireland (ORECNI) is to support the Health and Social Care Research Ethics Committees (HSC RECs) in the provision of ethical review to researchers, who perform research studies involving HSC or NHS service users, their tissue or data.

The ORECNI and its HSC RECs are accredited and regularly assessed by the Health Research Authority England. Although the main element of our work comes from within Northern Ireland, we also provide a service for the national research projects which occur throughout the UK.

Programmes and Projects: