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.”
33% felt that a risk-averse approach to investment in technology was preventing innovation.
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.
Trusts spend around 2% of expenditure on technology. This is not sufficient when the basics are so often not being achieved.
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.