BUDGET Breaking: £2.1 billion over the next three years for digital technology in NHS

NHS corona tracing app

The chancellor has revealed that the government will invest £2.1 billion over the next three years to support innovative use of digital technology so hospitals and other care organisations are as connected and efficient as possible, freeing up valuable NHS staff time and ensuring the best care for patients wherever they are.

A new survey from McKinsey has revealed responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years—and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.

Digital Transformation has an important part to play in addressing many of the challenges present today in the NHS workforce. From attracting staff, to making their working lives easier, to helping them grow and develop in their roles – a wide range of technologies are available for adoption into the everyday working practices of both clinical and non-clinical staff.

Internet access, coupled with smart mobile technology like tablets and mobile phones sees that everyone has almost instant access to an extensive pool of information in just a few clicks.

The uptake of wearable technology such as exercise monitoring devices and smart watches gives individuals real-time insights into elements of their own health that help them to better understand their current condition, and potentially flag up any warning signs. Current YouGov figures estimate that around 27% of UK adults have a wearable device and use it every day, meaning that around one quarter of the UK’s adult population have access to real-time data about their own health and activity.

These elements combine to create an environment where digitally-enabled patients are more informed than ever, and as a result feel increasingly capable of coordinating their own care journey wherever possible.

The implementation of electronic patient records is one of the biggest digital changes taking place in the NHS today. With the right technology and infrastructure in place clinicians in acute care settings, as well as those working in the community, can enjoy fast, efficient and secure access to digitised patient information from any device. This in turn sees that healthcare providers have access to more of the vital information they need at the point of care, contributing to better overall patient experience.