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NHS Long Term Plan: Industry Reaction Part Two

HTN asked the Health Tech Industry for their opinion and reaction to the recently published NHS Long Term Plan. Here you can find the reaction below from the second part of our series and you can read Part One by clicking here.

Our contributors include: X-on, Orion Health, ReStrart Consulting, RIVIAM, Transforming Healthcare Consultancy, Sectra,Virtualstock, Coordinate My Care, Future Care Capital, TRUSTECH, Karantis360 and Kajima.

Professor Julia Riley, Clinical Lead, Coordinate My Care and Palliative Care Consultant, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

“We welcome the Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s focus on increased digitisation as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. When we started the urgent care planning service Coordinate My Care in 2010, the ideas of advance care planning, sharing health information across different settings, striving for digital records in a paperless NHS were all fairly novel. Nine years down the line we feel we are leading this direction of travel, and are now in a position to show that planning ahead, making health information accessible to all the people that work around the patient, and putting the patient front and centre of the care they receive is not only right, but also very efficient.”

“The Health Secretary has prioritised digital and NHS IT integration since coming into office, this along with the work going on here in London with the local digital exemplar, One London, means the tide is finally turning and Coordinate My Care is a living breathing example that this approach works.”

Paul Targett, Managing Director, RIVIAM Digital Care

“It’s great to see the ambition of the long term plan and recognition of the pivotal role that technology and digital health services can play in delivering properly joined-up care for patients at the right time. The plan is a welcome step in recognising the important role that community and primary care play in delivering care in partnership with acutes. This re-phrasing of the strategy will make a big difference in helping services deliver co-ordinated care for citizens.”

“We also welcome the renewed focus on integration and interoperability to break down some of the current barriers to information sharing in the NHS. We want to see multidisciplinary teams from different primary and community care organisations more able to use information and data to work better together to deliver care services, engaging citizens in the process.”

“At RIVIAM Digital Care secure NHS integration is at the heart of everything we do. Our software platform delivers into NHS services every day and helps create the infrastructure for innovation to thrive and for pathways to be re-designed. And we agree with the report writers that ‘digital services and data interoperability give us the opportunity to free up time and resources to focus on clinical care and staying healthy.”

Keli Shipley, Head of Business Development – Clinical Interoperability, ReStart Consulting

“The Long Term Plan has highlighted the vital and more strategic role technology is playing in delivering a sustainable NHS, which is certainly welcomed. It will be interesting to see how the STPs and ICSs align their digital roadmaps to the plan as part of their 5-year strategies.”

“We encourage those refreshing their digital roadmaps to not lose focus on supporting today’s clinicians and carers with the information they need through strong interoperability and integration. Over the next decade open APIs will play an important role in allowing staff to access and record patient information from multiple systems across health and care. Furthermore, the open APIs can release immediate benefits as well as lay foundations for the next ten years if the right flexible and scalable technology is deployed. We look forward to working closely with our NHS partners to deliver the Long Term Plan.”

Jane Rendall, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Sectra

“If professionals are to make effective and early diagnoses expected of them in the NHS Long Term Plan, trusts must ensure imaging can move beyond the confines of radiology, pathology or any of the ‘ologies’. The plan commits to dramatically improving cancer survival by 2028. This hinges on improving early diagnosis from 50% to 75%. The plan makes promises around investment in modern diagnostics and new equipment, around a new faster diagnosis standard by 2020, it pledges to review NHS diagnostic capacity, and sets out better access to whole genome sequencing. But for early and effective diagnosis to happen as set out in the plan, the NHS can no longer allow crucial imaging to remain in isolated departmental systems. Trusts must ensure imaging from every diagnostic department is securely and appropriately accessible across the organisation, that it can be harnessed by artificial intelligence algorithms trusts wish to adopt, and that it is integrated with information in the EPR. Beyond trust walls, imaging must also become accessible at the regional level so that scarce and specialist professionals can be utilised to greatest effect for the NHS and its patients. The plan’s commitment to delivering pathology networks and diagnostic imaging networks, in order to improve the accuracy and turnaround times on tests and scans, and to make the most of the workforce, should therefore also be welcomed. But this will require long called for change and collaboration to happen.”

Gary Birks, General Manager UK and Ireland, Orion Health

“This is an exciting plan, because it is built around a new service model for the NHS that depends on making effective use of digital technology. We are particularly pleased to see the commitment to create integrated care services for the whole of England by 2021, and to the supporting commitment to roll-out integrated digital care records to which patients can contribute their own information and data.”

“Orion Health is already supporting this agenda in areas such as Dorset, where the Dorset Care Record is one of five local health and care record exemplars. As the plan recognises, it will be important to make sure these new records can effectively integrate with hospital and GP systems, and to use open architecture and standards so they can feed new services and the needs of planners and researchers.”

“As a founder member of INTEROPen, Orion Health has always been committed to these principles, and we hope they will be re-enforced as national and local programmes to implement the NHS Long Term Plan are published.”

“We also welcome the commitment to developing population health management. Orion Health has made a significant investment this area with its Amadeus platform. The analysis of vast data sets, in order to identify at risk-individuals and offer them appropriate prevention services or treatment, will be key to the future of healthcare, and to giving patients the personalised service they deserve.”

James Thirkill, Vice President and General Manager, Healthcare and Public Sector, Virtualstock

“The Long-Term Plan is a great step towards the NHS’ digital future. However, moving our health system over to digital needs a system-wide approach. Properly implementing tech in the NHS requires an overhaul of everything from managing patient records and pathways to tracking medical devices, adopting data standards and deploying interoperable technologies.”

“This is an ambitious plan but it cannot avoid the reality that the NHS must make £700 million back office savings over the next five years. Digital technology is critical to improving operational efficiency and core transactional services, which are just as fundamental improving quality of patient care and services as implementing the latest AI diagnostics.”

Paul Bensley, Director, X-on

“Digitally-enabled primary care does not always mean Skyping your GP; it can – and does – mean using digital technology that makes patients’ lives easier. As the NHS Long Term Plan notes, telephone consultations and triage are being increasingly used by GPs as part of smarter working practices. When compared to video or online GP consultations, the Plan shows that telephone appointments are more commonly made. As well, patients can and do better manage appointments via SMS and phone, reducing the costs of DNAs for the whole system. The GPs and CCGs we work with are using integrated digital phone technology to help provide a better patient experience, and take costs out of the system. We are supporting many to explore the use of video consultation.”

“We welcome the move towards more digitally-enabled primary care, and we recognise that patients want numerous ways to connect with their GP. Currently, the telephone is the readily accessible technology of choice for both practices and patients, and digital telephony delivers numerous administrative and financial benefits that can be realised now. In the future, online consultations are likely to become the norm, and we continue to support video integration across primary care so that even more benefits can be delivered as a result.”

“Both need to be underpinned by digital infrastructure that works for all, and we look forward to seeing how we can help primary care networks and integrated care systems provide the most equitable access to digitally-enabled care.”

Stephen Seagreen-Bell, managing director, Transforming Healthcare Consultancy 

“In my view the NHS should be ambitious in its thinking as it strives to deliver high-quality, sustainable care – and the Long Term Plan certainly reflects this. Like with any plan of this scale, the big question will be how it will be resourced given the huge pressures on the NHS today, and as such detailed finance plans, based on improved funding paths, will be required to ascertain how achievable it is.”

“Digital technology, which has risen up the healthcare agenda in recent years, forms a key focus of the plan. In many ways it is becoming our bread and butter, helping care providers to work smarter to improve care quality and outcomes on a daily basis. Digital solutions – although vital for transformation of services – are not the silver bullet to improving quality. Most providers, including those we work with as part of the Global Digital Exemplar programme, are demonstrating that embedding digital as part of a wider change management programme is the way forward – and this should continue in support of the 10-year plan.”

Greg Allen, Chief Executive, Future Care Capital

“The publication of the NHS long-term plan is a welcome start, but there remain a number of significant challenges. There are questions about how the ambitions set out in the ten-year plan will complement the options expected to be in the forthcoming adult social care Green Paper. And, if the ten-year plan is going to be achievable, it needs to be backed by a robust workforce strategy – there still remains uncertainty about how the NHS will address staff shortages.”

“It is good to see a focus on research and innovation which is sorely needed if the NHS is to deliver better patient outcomes. One way this can be achieved is through better harnessing the value of NHS data for public benefit. We need to establish a sovereign health fund to provide the NHS with an additional source of funding to help deliver sustainable long-term provision founded upon revenues from data-driven innovations the NHS enables over the years to come.”

“The ten-year plan attempts to steer the NHS away from the cliff-edge and back to a more sustainable footing but it has been published against the backdrop of a challenging political climate. If politicians are serious about delivering a new settlement for health and care provision, they need to embrace a cross-party approach or we will never escape the constant need for strategy development at the cost of meaningful long-term improvements in patient outcomes.”

Richard Coe, Project Director, Kajima

“It is extremely refreshing to see mental health becoming a political priority under the NHS 10 year Long Term Plan as mental health care has traditionally come second to physical health services when distributing available NHS funding. Undoubtedly the extra £2.3bn allocated to mental health care is a very promising start to what could be a real transformation of mental health services in the UK. We are particularly supportive of the shift in focus away from hospitals to prevention and care in the community through new evidence based NHS prevention programmes with specific action for people with long term mental health problems.”

“Currently much of the NHS estate remains hidebound by decaying, old-fashioned and isolated facilities with little accompanying community support. The solution to this problem lies not just in promising funding but in changing how healthcare is physically accessed and delivered. It is absolutely critical that we have facilities purpose-designed to support the new resources, such as community crisis teams and school Mental Health Support Teams, outlined in the 10 Year Plan so that the NHS’ ability to actually deliver them is not compromised.

“Effectively treating mental health means not merely having adequate crisis care but an integrated system of rehabilitation and recovery supported by modern, community-centred buildings, with hospitals no longer viewed merely as standalone treatment centres but as part of the wider community. Ultimately, if we are to provide modern mental health care we must have the modern infrastructure to match.”

Helen Dempster, Chief Visionary Officer, Karantis360

“The ageing population is the single and most significant driver for changing health and care needs in our society, according to Age UK’s report ‘Health and Care of Older People in England’. And while the NHS has just pledged that the new government funding will be used to help support the care of older people, in an era of phenomenal technology innovation, it is essential to question how that investment should be spent to also extend that support to the carers and care agencies.”

“By utilising apps, carers can be empowered to provide a more personalised service that best suits the needs of the person in question rather than being restricted by limited insights. This system could enable carers to get a full view of their client, from their daily routine to any significant events or emotional triggers. This information allows carers to provide a better client experience as they can adjust their behaviour accordingly and make the individual feel more comfortable. Combine the use of the app with other technologies such as non-intrusive, IoT sensors that monitor movement and environmental elements, and providing a high level of care 24/7 becomes possible, without resulting in any added stresses on clients or carers.”

Raj Purewal, Business Development and Partnerships Director, TRUSTECH

“As the NHS 10 Year Long Term Plan acknowledges that ‘the NHS is a hotbed of innovation and technological revolution in clinical practice’,  the issues are around: identifying, capturing and supporting health and social care innovations.”

“We continue to support and foster health related social enterprises; accelerate innovation development and adoption; help industry and academia validate the healthcare proposition for their research, products and services – to collaborate, design and deliver the future of health and social care.”


— Thank you to our contributors. You can also read Part One here —