DHC responds to evaluation of the Government’s progress on NHS digitisation

The Health and Social Care Committee’s Expert Panel has evaluated the Government’s progress against its commitments made regarding the digitisation of the NHS. The evaluation, published today (Friday 17th February 2023), concluded that the Government’s progress is inadequate. The Expert Panel recognised that although significant progress has been made in some areas, progress is too slow with many commitments unmet.

Catherine Davies, Director of the Digital Healthcare Council was appointed as an adviser to the Health Select Committee’s expert panel. The Digital Healthcare Council collected evidence from its members regarding commitments to:

  • Streamline contracting methods both to leverage NHS buying power and simplify the process of selling technology to NHS buyers
  • Consolidate routes to market and strengthen our commercial levers for adopting standards through a new target operating model for procurement

Members of the Digital Healthcare Council shared how their experiences of contracting with NHS partners are slow and complex. Members experienced highly localised decision-making even where there are national framework agreements. This means that it is difficult for NHS organisations to benefit from economies of scale.

Members also submitted that there remains considerable uncertainty about how the new procurement regime will work in practice. They told the committee that procurement opportunities arise infrequently, and when they do, they are complex and focus more on inputs than outcomes.

Catherine Davies, Director at Digital Healthcare Council, said:

“Digital health companies face significant challenges during procurement and contracting processes. The experience of our members is that contracting methods have not been streamlined and working with NHS partners is slow and complex. To improve outcomes for all patients, we need to scale effective digital solutions so that more patients and practitioners can benefit from them.”

The Digital Healthcare Council is a membership body, working with digital health and social care companies to build an optimal operating environment that is fit for today’s health and social care challenges and into the future.

Members of the Digital Healthcare Council span health and social care, providing services to patients directly or in partnership with other organisations. The current Digital Healthcare Council membership includes a number of leading providers in the UK: Ada, AskMyGP, Babylon, CheckUp Health, Cognitant, Dr Fox, Elder, Feedback Medical, HBSUK, Lilli, Livi, MediChecks, Objectivity, Preventx, Teletracking and Visiba.