30 Jul 2020

‘It's not just about entrenching the improvements but going further’

‘It's not just about entrenching the improvements but going further’

Key thought leaders explore the future of NHS Technology – Covid-19 and beyond

Recently Alan Mak MP for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution was joined by Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Dr. Sandeep Bansal, Founder, Medic Creations, Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer, NHSX and Alexandre de Carvalho, Co-Founder, Public to explore the impact of Covid-19 on adoption of technology in the NHS – and what that might mean going forwards Matt Hancock set the scene, reflecting on his unbounded enthusiasm for all things technology, and how the pandemic has dramatically changed the cultural view on tech in the NHS ‘I think the old discussions about whether technology is a good thing in healthcare, are completely redundant now ‘  Despite some teething troubles and potential resistance, ‘We've seen the culture radically change to now to one where an appointment is done by telemedicine by phone or by video, unless it is clinically necessary to see somebody face to face. And you know what, both patients and clinicians alike have on the very large part, loved it.’  He summarised by saying: ‘I'd say the three big areas where there's been an improvement is telemedicine data and decision making and the teamwork between different institutions. And that's all been for the good. The final point is we need to entrench these improvements, the better use of data we need to entrench the information governance rules which we put in place to radically simplify the rules - so essentially if you're doing a good thing in a sensible way, then that's fine’ 

Tara Donnelly reviewed the many ways in which NHSX has been integral to the Covid-19 support effort and referenced the challenge going forwards: ‘We've seen a mind shift change in the public, and NHS alike with digital solutions being embraced like never before in health care. The next stage of work is to embed this and build on it further to truly make it part of mainstream medicine in this country. And we're also mindful that coronavirus may well be here to stay, and that digital solutions that can assist in any subsequent wave should be prioritised and scaled so that we are as ready as possible to keep services going now and in the future.’ Tara Donnelly

Dr. Sandeep Bansal raised the issue of time strapped clinicians needing time to embrace and develop new ways of working ‘How do we give our nurses and doctors time to engage with robust change that can be embedded for the future. And that's obviously at a time when we've got what 40,000 nursing vacancies at any given point in time.’ He also asked for the session to explore further how SMEs could access support and funding to accelerate adoption of their solutions within and across the NHS, and talked about the challenges of Information Governance, infrastructure and interoperability. Sandeep referenced the retail and banking sectors: ‘And how do we bring about behavioural changes in the population, and I think there's much to be learned from the retail sector, who is brilliant at, you know, nudging us towards behavioural changes and buying for example, but actually if we look at it in healthcare, and behavioural changes in managing our own health’

Alexandre de Carvalho, Co-Founder, Public gave some insight into the investment sector and the recent rapid uptake of new tech in the NHS, ‘ We've got to remember just how much progress, we've managed to push through. And we can review what we've got in place, but I think critically, as well.’ He looked forwards to the longer term challenge faced by the NHS:

I think if we think further the biggest challenges the NHS is going to face is what we do as an NHS over the next 20 years, irrespective of this, you know critical crisis that we face we've got a demographic we've got chronic diseases, we've got, you know a lot of a lot of funding to get done in the next few years. And how are we going to do that? The hyperbole or the dream is artificial intelligence and big data and cohorting, and community care and seamless transition of patients from hospitals back into pathways,


To access the recorded webinar and hear more from these sector experts please click here http://www.4irappg.com/webinars

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Dates and venue

18-19 MAY 2022 + ExCeL LONDON