DHC responds to DHSC’s plan for Digital Health and Social Care

Today, the Department of Health and Social Care has published ‘The Plan for Digital Health and Social Care’. Read the full press release here.

Commenting on behalf of the Digital Healthcare Council, Graham Kendall said:

Digital technology can revolutionise health and social care, but we are currently only scratching the surface of what is possible. We welcome the government’s commitment to digital transformation, set out in this plan, and hope this will be an important step towards a thriving digital ecosystem that works for patients. We strongly support efforts to deliver a more responsive and personalised service that allows staff to work at the top of their skillset.

“But the devil will be in the detail, and it is crucial to invest in high quality services. The scale of our ambition should be far higher than simply booking hospital appointments online, though that of course is a welcome step forward. A genuinely transformative digital approach would re-engineer the whole pathway to deliver a far more responsive service to patients, supporting patients 24/7 at home, and only bringing them in for face-to-face appointments when clinically required.

“We need to focus on what really matters for patients – addressing their problems swiftly and through channels that they prefer – working across organisational boundaries and informed by real-time feedback. That requires constant improvement and means that we need to rethink how the NHS, local authorities, and industry work together effectively. It’s vital that we strike the right balance between driving change centrally, such as through the NHS App, while allowing space for innovators to develop new approaches that can be adopted swiftly as they prove their value. ”