As part of London Tech Week, Health Innovation Network and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator partnered with DAC Beachcroft and NHS Improvement to deliver an Innovation Exchange evening at the Wallbrook Building.
At the event, NHS leaders from across the health system, came together to learn about the innovative digital solutions that are already helping trusts across the country to tackle current NHS workforce challenges and discuss the challenges of implementation, interoperability and cost.
The overwhelming response to the information shared was encouraging, but also very timely. The recently published Interim People Plan highlighted the important role that digital will have to play to help the NHS combat the current workforce crisis, particularly in relation to productivity.
Although, digital transformation can be difficult when you consider challenges with costs, planning and implementation. As well as showcasing some of the solutions available right now, discussions were centred around what cultural change is needed to find and uptake digital solutions. A key point that was raised is interoperability – new innovations must be able to work seamlessly with existing systems for compliance and adoption to happen.
And as is always the case with any discussion around digital, the question of how automating services will affect patient care was raised. Workforce shortages are a fact of the NHS and while not all services can be automated, using AI to support the workforce in areas such as rotas and training will help clinicians spend more time on delivering better patient care.
To meet the gaps in NHS workforce, the adoption and spread of innovation across the NHS must be accelerated. Increasing awareness of the products that are currently available and their successes in different trusts is the first step to ensuring a robust NHS workforce fit for the future.