Reflections on: “Enhancing Government to Citizen Engagement through the digital evolution” Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London 18 May 2022

21 May, 2022

Put on by GovNet Events - trading name of Partnership Media Group Ltd.

“Digital Government 2022 looks at the progress made on the journey to a digitally enabled state, as well as the challenges which still need to be overcome.”

This event provided an opportunity for the public sector to establish the right skills needed to improve and design services that are both user-centric and easily accessible.

Through best practice case studies and high-level discussions, the event hoped to provide a space for central and local government, the NHS and the private sector to come together as a digital community to debate and define the opportunities for digital transformation in the public sector. The programme delivered by leading policy makers and decision-makers across the technology sector, the opportunity to solve strategic problems by sharing ideas and solutions and to gain insights on the current concerns and successes of digital government to help deliver efficient, agile and user-focused digital services.

The conference was asked to consider "what is digital transformation?" and the conference was told that digital transformation passes from incremental through to disruption through to creation - replacing megalithic services to microservices. (The Ministry of Justice is looking for a larger warehouse for its stored paper as the floor of the current large warehouse will take no more weight.) The conference heard how “tech debt” is dependency on out of date and inefficient technology.

KPMG reported that there is a very rapid change of issues to be dealt with by government with a rate of change sometimes too fast to produce solutions. KPMG stated that though many lessons had been learned, because of global economic change, post-pandemic recovery, unprecedented backlog, emerging tech trends, the pace of change and the reduction in headcount the rate of change had been too fast to produce solutions to all problems.

The Product Owner of NHS login discussed the phenomenal success of he NHS Login since its inception in 2019. NHS Log in - NHS App Online ( is a website contained within an app.

There are over 100 different apps that can be accessed through the NHS Login Websites a - NHS ( Patients have to update their contact details and permissions have been obtained from patients.

Service users (an example of a blind service user was given) had given much feed back to NHS Login of their experiences and the app designers have responded to solve particular difficulties.

The NHS Login uses serverless architecture, has low maintenance costs and uses open standards. It uses openID connect, FIDO for geometric orientation. The app opened in 2019 and peaked in registrations in December 2021 with 5 million registrations � usually to obtain certificates of vaccination certification - taken from linked GP records where the vaccination details were stored and from where the invitations were sent for most vaccinations. 35,000 new accounts were made and there were a million log ins yesterday (17 May 2022).

The login worked for authentication and for identification and there are 40 million users of the NHS state funded Login. (UK population 66 million). Different levels of complexity ID are required for different government services.

The so far successful sharing of digital ID across national services has worked on a network of trust, individual ownership, bottom up inclusive identity, respecting privacy, portability and security.

Another, private, organization presented their use of complementary automation and AI to engage with patients, aiming for seamless delivery (secure, convenient, personalized, quick and transparent), service on demand and an open data platform. Before and after covid there remains a large personnel capacity gap and companies look to increase engagement of talent, create lifelong learning and produce virtual academies for future workforces.

The presenter told us that the government has had a declining voice with the public and the presenter wondered whether he government cold reverse this trend with better citizen experience, harnessing the power of the subscribed citizen and building deeper engagement with citizens .(Habermas was quoted here - Habermas’ definition of a public sphere is the first and founding trigger to classification attempts of the formation of public opinions and the legitimisation of state and democracy in post-war Western societies. It is widely accepted as the standard work but has also been widely challenged as the concept of the public sphere is constantly developing.)

The deputy chief executive digital officer of the mayoralty of London presented on the Mayoralty’s attempts to increase digital inclusion.

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data

Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT