Healthcare Transformation 2024: Civica's Paula Ridd's Insights

Connected, efficient and collaborative

30th January 2024

Civica’s Paula Ridd highlights three focus areas for the health and care sector in 2024 and how partners can support transformation

The health and care sector faces a myriad of challenges and potentially a lot of change too as we look ahead to this year. But the aims and ambitions remain the same; improving patient pathways and boosting cost savings and efficiencies. Alongside this are the twin principles of enhancing patient safety and building a more engaged workforce.

Against this backdrop, I think it’s crucial that the voice of industry is actively heard and engaged. The sector faces challenges across multiple settings, and I feel the supplier community can add huge value. As a newly elected member of the techUK Health and Social Care Council, it’s a great opportunity to innovate within the health tech area, share best practice and collaborate together to get the best results for the sector.

Here are the three things we need to have top of the agenda:

Connected health and social care

It’s not an exaggeration to say that data can save lives. We still need to make data more accessible for clinicians across both health and social care settings. While we’ve made great strides in digitising records in the Acute setting, we need to keep working hard to make sure that data can flow seamlessly between different IT systems across both health and care settings.

For many reasons, secondary care is often prioritised; the real benefit to us as citizens (whether as patients, family, or staff) is joining up our care sectors to transform the way services are delivered across transitions of care. In this way, we can improve patient pathways and boost cost savings and efficiencies.

Efficient scheduling

First published in June 2023, the new NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out to provide the first comprehensive workforce plan for the NHS, ‘putting staffing on a sustainable footing and improving patient care’. It also has the aim of retaining existing talent and making the best use of new technology.

Working in tandem with electronic patient records (EPRs), scheduling software enables community services to operate with transparency and safety. It provides real-time visibility of a distributed clinical workforce capacity and patient demand for better, safer care in the community: ensuring patients are seen by the right clinician, with the right skills, at the right time. We’ve helped NHS organisations across the UK to improve scheduling including integration with the Welsh Levels of Care now used across the entire Wales District Nursing service.

Industry collaboration

We need to work together as a health and social care supplier base – as one size does not fit all for health organisations. It’s crucial that we join up to solve the challenges faced by the NHS. For example we see ways document management platforms can work together with acute Electronic Patient Record providers to boost patient care.

The challenge is bigger than individual Trusts and suppliers – it’s vital that we collaborate with other suppliers to ease the totality of the burden. Success lies in joining up expertise, creating efficiencies and sharing the best way to go forward. We must continue to influence policy to join up funding and approaches – and look more holistically at the way we deliver care across the UK.

Paula Ridd is Director, Health and Care at Civica

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