Written evidence submitted by The Health Tech Alliance (CBP0018)

 

About the Health Tech Alliance

The Health Tech Alliance is a coalition of health technology companies and stakeholders from across the NHS and wider health system. This focus on partnership is integral to the Alliance’s overarching objective of industry and the NHS working collaboratively to ensure that vital HealthTech innovation reaches patients.

 

Our response to this inquiry

The Health Tech Alliance welcomes this timely inquiry. In our short response, we have chosen to focus on those questions most pertinent to ourselves and our members – namely those focusing on the role that HealthTech innovation can play in meeting and addressing the unfortunate care backlog that has emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

What positive lessons can be learnt from how healthcare services have been redesigned during the pandemic? How could this support the future work of the NHS and care services?

 

There are several positive lessons that can be learnt from the way healthcare services were redesigned at pace during the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, a sense of urgency and singular focus of responding to the pandemic, meant that culturally, individuals had the autonomy to find solutions to challenges and explore new means of delivering care. This cultural change is a key learning from the pandemic, and it appears that healthcare professionals would like to retain some of this new-found autonomy and creativity. As the NHS Confederation report[1] on the NHS reset states, the regulatory burden on local leaders was reduced, leading to more agile ways of working.

 

The pandemic also saw:

 

 

What can the Department of Health & Social Care, national bodies and local systems do to facilitate innovation as services evolve to meet emerging challenges?

 

HealthTech innovation and innovators continue to face a plethora of systemic challenges when seeking adoption of their product or service. These include:

 

We hope that some of the aforementioned challenges are resolved through the development of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and implementation of the Health and Care Bill which should help break down traditional silos to foster service redesigns across patient pathways.

 

The Health Tech Alliance welcomes the recently outlined Life Sciences Vision[2] which sets out a strategic goal of making the UK “the best place in the world to discover, develop, test, trial, launch and adopt new treatments and technologies”. We are keen to ensure that the Government, NHS England and other key healthcare bodies support this rhetoric through concerted action to harness the vibrant life sciences sector. As the Vision rightly states, “the NHS is central to every element of [the] Vision, and the NHS’ partnership…is a precondition to its success”.

 

To facilitate innovation, the Health Tech Alliance recommends:

 

 

 

Sept 2021

3

 


[1] NHS Reset: a new direction for health and care, NHS Confederation, 29 September 2020. Available here: https://www.nhsconfed.org/sites/default/files/media/NHS-Reset-a-new-direction-for-health-and-care_4.pdf

[2] Life Sciences Vision, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Office for Life Sciences, published 6th July 2021. Available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/life-sciences-vision