Government announces digital revolution for health and social care

Plans to deliver a digital revolution to make the health and social care system ‘fit for the 21st century’ have been revealed by the government today.

The Plan for Digital Health and Social Care sets out the government’s vision for transforming health and care with digital technology, giving patients access to quicker and more effective care and saving the health and care systems time and money.

The Plan outlines how access to information will be improved for people are their care teams through the NHS App and, with the aim of delivering faster and more personalised treatment.

This includes bringing information together into the App and enabling people to view and manage hospital appointments, have virtual consultations and see notifications from their GP.

It also outlines the acceleration of the use of digital technology across the NHS and social care to improve efficiency and free up frontline workers’ time, helping to bust the Covid backlogs.

By increasing the availability of remote monitoring – where patients can use technology to keep an eye on their condition from home – a further 500,000 people could be better supported by March 2023, estimates the government.

Over 280,000 people already used remote monitoring at home and in care homes for long-term conditions in the last year, freeing up hospital beds and saving clinicians’ valuable time.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘We are embarking on a radical programme of modernisation that will make sure the NHS is set up to meet the challenges of 2048 – not 1948, when it was first established.

‘This Plan builds on our Data Strategy to revolutionise digital health and care, which will enable patients to manage hospital appointments from the NHS App and take more control of their own care at home, picking up problems sooner and seeking help earlier.

‘Ensuring more personalisation and better join up of the system will benefit patients, free up clinician time, and help us to bust the Covid backlogs.’

Care providers have welcomed government investment in new technology but warned that major reform of the sector must not be forgotten.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham commented: ‘Care providers are amongst the best at embracing the use of new technology to aid care and free up staff time, so this additional investment is welcome news.

‘What we have to ensure that it isn’t just window dressing, some headline-grabbing money to disguise the fact that the Government isn’t really tackling the reform of social care provision in this country as it has promised.’

Photo supplied by DHSC


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