Big changes are coming to the NHS and healthtech could be at the centre of it all. With the aim of empowering the system to work to the advantage of clinicians and patients alike, Matt Hancock has announced a series of legislative reforms.
As with anything in politics, we do not know whether these reforms will be successful or whether they will simply exacerbate existing problems. But, what we do know, is that technology will be embraced and harnessed through the Governments’ efforts to improve patient care. In the Government’s new white paper, digital transformation is noted as an integral part and a primary vehicle behind rebuilding the country. Particularly for businesses in the healthtech sector, this a great time to be keeping an eye out for new collaborative opportunities.
By maximising the use of technology and using data intelligently, we will support commissioning and delivery of high-quality services.
Here is a quick synopsis of the proposed reforms:
- Promote integration between different parts of the health and care sector
Firstly, integration will be endorsed across the sectors so that clinicians and public health experts can operate seamlessly without being separated into artificial silos. Secondly, integration will come in the form of greater collaboration between the NHS and local government as well as the wider delivery services in the nation. The hope is to create a system that does not support a one-size fits all policy, but rather a localised approach that enables local bodies to determine the arrangements that work best for them.
- Reduce unnecessary bureaucracy
The reforms aim to free up the system and eradicate bureaucracy where sensible decision making is hindered. The Government will create legislation that will remove the barriers in the system and offer individuals more flexibility to advance practices. Through utilising and optimising data requests and data sharing, the Government hopes to create a platform that will better support staff and patient care.
- An accountable system
The Government believes that medical issues are matters for ministers. Therefore, the NHS will be accountable to ministers and the secretary of state will be empowered to set the direction for the NHS and intervene where necessary. The aim is to provide national bodies with clear roles and responsibilities and ensure that there is proper oversight on the healthcare framework.
The scope of what healthtech can do in the sector is truly boundless. It was just last year when paramedics were using jet packs to provide emergency services to those in need.
It is time to equip our true national heroes with the ‘tech superpowers’ that they deserve.