Secondary Care

Matt Hancock announces new digital aspirant programme

Matt Hancock in a speech delivered at Policy Exchange has outlined his priorities for health and care and announced a new digital aspirant programme; an extension to the Global Digital Exemplar programme to benefit more trusts.

Hancock said “I want the whole of the NHS to be part of the programme that will take us into the 2020s, not just the leading trusts.”

“Until now, the focus has been on getting some hospitals up to scratch through the global digital exemplar programme. They’ve got to keep advancing, but now we’re going to help many more hospitals with a new digital aspirant programme.”

“And this model of excellence crucially will become part of the CQC’s inspection regime too so people know they will be assessed against good use of high-quality technology and incentivised to deliver.”

“We’re going to use technology on the frontline and also to advance the cutting-edge techniques and we’re going to make the UK the world leader in life sciences, with doubling research into dementia and making sure data can be used appropriately and properly to advance the needs of the medical research community – to find new treatments and save more lives.”

The Health Secretary said: “It’s quite simple: better tech means better health and social care.”

“That’s why I set up NHSX. Their task is to articulate the vision, define the strategy, decide on priorities and spending, and then oversee delivery.”

“NHS Digital also has a vital role to play: designing, building, deploying and operating digital products and services.”

“But we need to get the basics right.”

In the speech Matt Hancock outlined four priorities, Prevention, People, Technology and Infrastructure.

In terms of People, Hancock said “Because I want us to seize this opportunity and over the next decade, by 2030, have an NHS where everyone is empowered and supported to stay healthy and out of hospital wherever possible.”

“Where people have more control over their personal healthcare, and technology enhances the ability of staff to care.”

“We need a leadership and culture across the whole NHS that matches the best parts of it now where every single person can achieve their best. I’ve seen that talking to people on wards, in primary care and talking to people at all levels – the capability must be unleashed with a more supportive working culture.”

The Health Secretary also commented there would be an increased focus on the tech agenda “So we’re going to double down on the tech agenda and bring the NHS into the 21st century.”

“We’re going to use digital technology to ease the burden on staff, give people the tools and information to manage their own healthcare, and make sure that patient data can be safely accessed wherever and whenever it’s needed across the system.”