Healthcare Secretary Pledges Commitment Efficient and Collaborative Working

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In his address to healthcare leaders this week, Steve Barclay reiterated what many of us already know to be true -that when our care system is healthy, our economy is healthy too.


On the topic of the Autumn Statement and the government’s increased funding of health services, the Health Secretary stated:


“What happens in our health and care system has a big impact on the wider economy. I’m pleased that investment and prioritisation were well-received within the NHS itself, with Amanda Pritchard, the NHS chief executive, welcoming our decision to prioritise health and theNHS Confederation calling it a “positive day for the NHS”.


But with that financial package, a key part now of my job is to make sure those funds are spent effectively.”


The resonant note in Steve Barclay’s speech was his emphasis on effectiveness and efficacy: in terms of effective working, use of resources, and untapped benefits of inter-organisation cooperation. He underscored the government’s priority in realising the benefits of provider collaboration for patients, services and the entire NHS. Citing their potential to address unwarranted variation, poor outcomes, maximise economies of scale and staff well-being, he placed weight on the role ProviderCollaboratives will play in securing the future of the NHS: 


“An efficient system addresses bottlenecks that delay patient care by designing new journeys for patients that avoid those delays.


Because quicker – and therefore earlier– treatment will lead to better patient outcomes whether that is from earlier cancer diagnoses, with the announcement a couple of weeks ago on direct access for GPs, or on antibiotics – getting the right antibiotic first time, rather than the third or fourth time. Obviously bringing significant patient benefits, but it is also efficient in terms of cost.


So an efficient system will get better treatment to the patient and improvement patient outcomes, but in doing so, it will also unlock value for money.”

The Need for Digital Innovation in Provider Collaborative Care

Steven Barclay’s optimistic words come with a caveat. That, in order for us to realise the true potential of effective and collaborative working, the NHS must embrace innovation and digital maturity in their practices:


‘I believe that the NHS scores the risk of innovation too highly when compared to the risks of the status quo, and I think that needs to be recalibrated. [...] So, we need to be scoring innovation risk within a much wider context than simply looking at it in a silo.


And as we change our risk appetite for innovation, we also need to change our risk appetite for transparency.’


The topic of innovation brings the question of effective implementation to the fore. Specifically, how innovation can be used to tackle pathway improvements, flow, and recovering backlogs of care and services with ease. In addition, it forces us to ask ourselves - how can we integrate innovative and better practices into services; and what tools are available to ensure that these challenges are faced with transparency?


In the context of building robust Provider Collaborative systems, addressing these questions will be key. Specifically, it will be critical to leverage technologies that accommodate higher data visibility and sharing across multiple organisations.

Cambio PFM: Provider Collaborative Innovation Begins with Trust and Visibility

Provider Collaboratives will form the bedrock of ICSs, and bring together NHS providers, the voluntary sector and the wider health system. For this reason, as the Health Secretary indicated, it will be crucial to ensure that these organisations have the tools to work together and at scale. 


Cambio Patient Flow Manager (PFM)ensures that Provider Collaboratives can work together to address clearly defined challenges within local and wider systems. It works by providing real-time insights on activity and pressure points on an accessible dashboard, alerting teams on what needs to be done and when. 


By providing granular data at local scale, Cambio PFM gives interdisciplinary teams visibility of care activity at multiple sites. As a single point of truth, Cambio PFM’s insights enhance referral, assessment and flow processes across many organisations; allowing for optimised patient journeys and overall care experiences.


Contact the Cambio UK team at info@cambiohealthcare.co.uk to find out more about their work in Provider Collaboratives and across the NHS.