The Plan for Digital Health and Social Care – £2billion investment

The government’s Plan for Digital Health and Social Care revealed £2billion has been allocated to help bring the health system into the 21st century.

Sajid Javid, who previously served as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has in the past described the NHS as ‘a Blockbuster health care system in the age of Netflix’. He stated that ‘big and bold changes’ were needed to bring the health service into the 21st century.

So, in order to truly modernise the NHS, there undoubtedly needs to be a focus on utilising digital technology to improve individual care, speed up patient diagnosis, research new treatments, and ultimately save lives. Harnessing digital technology would also drive forward hospital efficiency and free up much needed hospital space and clinician time – which is seen to be hugely beneficial in helping reduce the current waiting list backlog.

The Plan for Digital Health and Social Care, which was published on 29th June 2020, has set out the government’s ambitious vision to transform health and social care by harnessing digital technology. Therefore, some of The Plan’s £2billion funding budget will be used to rapidly expand the use of technology throughout the NHS, which includes increasing the availability of virtual clinics and remote monitoring.

Last year, more than 280,000 people with long-term conditions were remotely monitored, which helped free up hospital capacity and saved clinicians’ invaluable amounts of time and resources. In the same time frame, Amplitude supported the remote monitoring of roughly 140,000 patients. These patients were mainly undergoing routine care, such as orthopaedic interventions and general surgery, as well as receiving treatment for chronic conditions, including pain management and rheumatology.

Remote monitoring ultimately improves the health outcomes of patients as problems are identified and dealt with earlier, resulting in shorter stays and fewer admissions in the first place.

The Plan for Digital Health and Social Care has also stated that it is estimated that a further 500,000 people could be better supported via remote monitoring by March 2023. If these ambitions are achieved, it will mean that people from across the country will benefit from faster, more personalised healthcare.

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