Innovation and tech investment to get NHS back on track
“Using the latest technology and locally led innovation will increase efficiencies, make every penny count and increase activity levels to tackle rising backlogs.” Professor Steve Powis, NHS England medical director
Surgical hubs, new technology and innovative ways of working will help tackle waiting lists and treat around 30% more elective care patients by 2023/24, the Government has announced.
A new £36 billion investment for health and social care over the next three years will support embracing innovation and “doing things differently” and get the NHS back on track.
The funding will see the NHS deliver an extra nine million checks, scans, and operations for patients across the country, and will do more than simply plug the elective gaps.
Surgical hubs are being piloted in a number of locations, including London, and are helping already helping fast-track the number of planned operations, including cataract removal, hysterectomies and hip and knee replacements. This will now be expanded across the country.
Located on existing hospital sites, surgical hubs bring together the skills and resource under one roof while limiting infection risk and providing a COVID-19 secure environment, with more planned to open in the coming year.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the global pandemic had presented the NHS with enormous challenges and led to a growing backlog, but he added:
“We cannot go on with business as usual. 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.”
Professor Steve Powis, NHS England medical director, said:
“The NHS has been trialling a range of new ways of working in 12 areas, backed by £160 million, to accelerate the recovery of services.
“This includes setting up pop-up clinics so patients can be treated quickly, in person, and discharged closer to home, as well as virtual wards and home assessments to allow patients to receive medical support from the comfort of their home, freeing up beds in hospitals.
“GP surgeries are using Artificial Intelligence to help prioritise patients most in need and identify the right level of care and support needed for patients on waiting lists.
“Using the latest technology and locally led innovation will increase efficiencies, make every penny count and increase activity levels to tackle rising backlogs.”
FCC has welcomed harnessing technology to transform the NHS and social care.