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Building Back Better - The Government’s £250 Million Plan For Technology in Healthcare

How a renewed commitment to digital innovation in healthcare will help Trusts battle the backlog
doctor working at laptop making notes
| Robert Hobbs | Healthcare

The challenges of COVID-19 have been unprecedented and will have serious effects for years to come, but can the government’s renewed commitment to digital innovation in healthcare help?

Covid has left the NHS reeling, with the number of patients waiting for elective surgery in England hitting a record high of 5.5 million - tipped to reach 13 million by the end of the year if left unchecked- and patients waiting an average of 44 weeks for elective surgeries.

As a result, On 7th September, the government announced new health and social care reforms that aim to address the monumental backlog and bring health and social care closer together. The “Build Back Better” plan highlights the need to harness the latest data and diagnostic techniques to tackle the record-breaking waiting list for elective surgeries, and under the plan, the government has committed to establishing a £250m “elective recovery technology fund” that’s designed to provide access to cutting edge technologies, with a further £250m being provided to increase operating theatre capacity and improve productivity in hospitals.

The announcement comes as the government introduces a new health and social care tax to raise an extra £36Billion for frontline services over the next three years. The 1.25% rise in National Insurance kicks in from April 2022, with most of the funding being focused on reforming health and care in England. The plan states that the goal for reducing the backlog of elective surgery will require a “commitment to innovation” and taking the opportunity to change the way the NHS works.

“This means sharing and using expertise, building on the excellent work already underway in hospitals and primary care, and learning from the pandemic by using virtual clinics and new ways of working, as well as harnessing the latest data and diagnostic techniques”

The ability to share and scale innovation across the system will obviously be a critical enabler and data will be fundamental to delivery along with advanced digital tools, however there have been calls for clarity from NHSX about how this important digital integration will be delivered. As a result, the government announced that they will release an integration white paper later this year that will provide more information on how the health and social care systems will integrate and operate more effectively.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced:

“This additional funding is a critical investment in our country’s future – it will give the NHS the extra capacity it needs to get back on its feet and is a vital first step in the reform of our broken care system. We are going to harness the latest technology and innovative new ways of working such as surgical hubs to deliver the millions more appointments, treatments and surgeries that are needed over the coming months and years to tackle waiting lists.”

As a result of this new fund, NHS Trusts will be better placed than ever to invest in capable, versatile technology solutions to help improve their productivity and focus on ensuring high levels of patient safety and care, even in the face of the monster backlog. The fund comes at a time when far too many Trusts are still struggling and making do with outdated, labour-intensive tools that drain far too many resources and man-hours, or that are spread across multiple systems, spreadsheets, reports and emails, leading to inefficiency, inaccuracy and duplication.

The new fund will enable these trusts to adopt exactly the “commitment to innovation” that the Build it Back Better Plan calls for and make a much-needed step change towards digital transformation that takes full advantage of the huge amounts of data that Trusts must gather and navigate to anticipate, manage and mitigate risk and maintain quality. InPhase Oversight is one of the new generation of digital tools to help them achieve that.

Designed from the ground up as a fully integrated assurance framework that’s dedicated to the healthcare industry, it helps Trusts to better understand and manage their data on quality performance and compliance with the many facets required - including CQC NICE, NHSEI, Audit, Policy, Premise Assurance Framework, CAS, Learning From Patient Safety Events - and seamlessly integrates with numerous systems and sources of data to help manage their assurance and improvement plans and actions more easily and efficiently than ever.

The challenges of COVID-19 have been unprecedented and it will have serious effects on the NHS for years to come, but with the government’s commitment to digital innovation in healthcare – and the right integrated apps – Trusts will be able to face those challenges with far more confidence and optimism.

Robert Hobbs

Chief Executive Officer

InPhase’s Chief Executive and Founder, Robert has been the visionary leading InPhase to be one of the UK's leading providers of management, governance and assurance solutions, and helping organisations align their actions and goals more easily and efficiently with InPhase's suite of integrated apps.

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