NHS Long Term Plan – Part 2


Chapter Two concentrates on health prevention as a key message to promote a healthier population and make sure that there is an emphasis on those comorbidities that have put an increasing pressure on services in previous years. Health promotion plays a big part in improving care and preventative medicines where mobile technologies and AI could influence change. A learnt process that could inform on risk factors and markers could help advance management of conditions and their prevention at source. This is already evident in the work being done by many health IT developers in the market.

There are many opportunities for GPs and Consultants alike to recommend mobile technologies to their patients that can help them in the management of existing conditions and to maximise the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle. There is a plethora of mobile applications that assist in the management or prevention of numerous conditions and diagnoses but it is of extreme importance that they are policed and reviewed making sure they are ultimately safe to use and of some benefit to the patient and clinicians alike.

This emphasises even more the need to educate health IT developers in the NHS safety standards, Medical Device Regulations and the many other compliances that are essential when bringing technically challenging solutions to the health sector.

With an adoption of integrated care systems (ICSs) to improve services by the management of resources there is a need to provide better and more joined up care for patients which requires both primary and secondary health services to be intrinsically linked in their approach especially with their health IT systems. The use of information and data within the NHS is key to the success of the ICSs and should be the driving force to improving and transforming health IT in the NHS to a point where it second nature to access and manage your personal health record from your chosen device allowing patients and clinicians to interact in such a way that is seamless in its application.

But a piece of research undertaken by Transforming Healthcare Consultancy (THC)identified that there are 44% of NHS Trusts who do not have a digital transformation plan at present. This may have improved since this was undertaken but is a worry for the ongoing implementation of the long-term plan and should be looked at as a priority by NHS England in the continued improvement of the IT infrastructure of the NHS. I am aware that this is only one part of a bigger picture when creating ICSs but should be considered as having a major impact on their success.

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