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Getting the money right

The NHS needs sustained investment to provide the foundation for a technologically enabled system

We repeatedly heard calls for the NHS to become a technologically enabled sector. In order to do this it must make investment in the same way as any organisation looking to make technology a differentiator – by making the funds available to create significant, strategically driven change.

COVID-19 has provided an incredible example of the speed of change that can happen when a more permissive approach is taken - and the obvious and immediate challenge of tackling a global pandemic forces immediate problem solving. 

This essay discusses how, if the NHS is serious about becoming a technologically enabled organisation, there is an urgent need to start investing appropriately in technology.

“There is this constant push for investment in technology to be capital funding but most of the agile innovative systems are offered as a service requiring revenue. This needs urgent review.”

Director, healthcare industry

33% felt that a risk-averse approach to investment in technology was preventing innovation.

Survey carried out by HIMSS on behalf of PwC


The recovery from COVID-19

The recovery from COVID-19 will be expensive, but technology should be seen as a crucial part of this solution.

While recognising that there will be economically challenging times to come, investment in technology must remain a priority and any temptation to see it as discretionary spend should be resisted.

Sustained investment

While eye-catching investments in new technologies are important, there should be significant, sustained, ring-fenced investment in upgrading current systems and infrastructure within organisations.

Trusts spend around 2% of expenditure on technology. This is not sufficient when the basics are so often not being achieved.


There should be innovation funding for systems to make efficiencies through technological solutions.

The experience of COVID-19 has demonstrated that infrastructure must be in place to allow for seamless communication, video consultations and sharing of large data sets. This money should be bid for at system level, with a view to paying back the loan as efficiencies are realised.

Contact us

David Morris

David Morris

Health Services Sector Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 784180

Quentin  Cole

Quentin Cole

Head of Industries, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7770 303846

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