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Digital revolution set to transform the NHS

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The government recently announced changes to health care in a White Paper launched last week

New report says reforming policies could galvanise the way hospitals, GPs and community services work together.

It calls on the Government to put digital innovation at the heart of changes to the NHS and build on the progress made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report by Public Policy Projects sets out 12 key reforms which would allow patients to make better health choices and put digital technology at the centre of health care.

The government recently announced changes to health care in a White Paper launched last week. 

The ‘State of the Nation: Digitisation and Medical Technologies’ report from PPP includes policy recommendations from the former Associate Chief CIO of NHS England, Dr Harpreet Sood; and Deputy Chair of the PPP Healthcare and Life Sciences Policy Board, Baroness Nicola Blackwood. 

Proposals in the paper set out plans to modernise the health and care system to make it fit for the future and tackle the needs of communities to deliver better health in a system that is less bureaucratic, more accountable, and more collaborative.

The policy recommendations focus on driving cultural and practice change towards digital-first healthcare provision, and include tech-based solutions to a number of significant issues currently faced by the NHS, including: 

  • Prioritising digital innovation 
  • Implementing a prevention-first approach
  • Empowering patients to become better informed
  • Legislating better data access, and protection
  • Reviewing effective digital solutions used during the pandemic

The report provides analysis on the current state of digital policy, performance of policy development against benchmarks, and delivery in the UK healthcare system. 

Specific exploration includes the practical short-term benefits of embedding digital enhancements in frontline service delivery and building on improvements already made during the pandemic.

The report offers a long-term vision for the transformational potential of digital and data enabled healthcare.

Dr Harpreet Sood said: “The recently published white paper highlights that there are still barriers to integrating technology effectively.

“ We need to remove the institutional and systemic barriers in working efficiently for patients and healthcare professionals and improve the widening health inequalities. 

Baroness Blackwood added: “The Department for Health and Social Care must build on the momentum generated over the course of the pandemic to drive substantive culture and practice change towards digital-first healthcare provision which is more proactive, predictive, and effective.”

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