A healthy start to the year: Review of the techUK H&SC Programme
The first half of 2022 has been full of activities for the techUK Health and Social Care programme and the members working closely with the team. This August, we therefore wanted to provide an overview of key areas of focus and the work done for the past six months. None of this would be possible without the involvement and support of our members, therefore we'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you!
Now, at the beginning of the year, we set out our strategy for 2022, working closely with members and with the Health & Social Care Council, and since have sought to deliver on the core areas of interest to our members. From online and in-person events to consultations and our ICS paper, the past few months have seen us focus on:
Fostering engagement with central bodies
After kicking off the year with a briefing from the former NHSX unit, and following the merger of NHSX into NHS England, we have been organising a series of workshops with the Transformation Directorate as well as continuing to foster our strategic partnership with NHS Digital. The Frontline Digitisation Working Group has held monthly meetings with the EPR vendor group, as well as organising three wider briefings to update members on the programme, and one dedicated to maternity EPRs.
Further to this, techUK has held a workshop with members and the Centre for Improving Data Collaboration looking at the data needs of innovators, supported early market engagement events with the team leading on digital maturity assessments, and organised a lunchtime lecture series with the NHS AI Lab.
Expanding on social care
Our Social Care Working Group has also gone from strength to strength, with a new Chair and Vice-Chair directing three meetings so far this year, welcoming colleagues from the NHS Transformation Directorate Adult Social Care team, ADASS, LGA and SOCITM. In addition, techUK coordinated a response to an urgent ministerial request for views on the main challenges and technological solutions in social care, hosted a London Tech Week session on how future technologies can support high-quality delivery of services, and presented a podcast on ‘innovation in place-based care’ as part of Digital Place Week 2022. Together with our Cyber Security team, we also hosted a workshop with suppliers, social care providers and NHS England on cyber in social care in July. And last but not least, we launched our Social Care Innovation Hub, which you can access here.
Branching out into life sciences
We kicked off our new workstream looking at digital innovation in the life sciences back in January with a roundtable attended by the MHRA, Office for Life Sciences, Genomics England, and HDR UK. Since then, we have gone on to establish techUK’s Life Sciences Forum, who are helping to sculp and direct our work in this area. Subsequent events with Matt Whitty, CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, an industry briefing with the Office for Life Sciences on the Healthcare Missions, and work with the NICE Office for Digital Health have made this an exciting area for the Health & Social Care Programme. You can check out our Life Sciences Hub for guest blogs and more.
Focusing on Integrated Care Systems
The first half of 2022 has seen ICSs be placed on statutory footing, and with this change came a significant focus on their potential to shift the NHS to a population health approach that considers wider determinants of health and integrated health and social care. To better understand what this means for the digital health and technology sector, we have held industry briefings and roundtables with representatives from the public sector including CEOs, CIOs, CDIOs and more.
Back in April, we also launched our first regional Health and Social Care Industry Dinner, which took place in Leeds. The event brought together over 250 attendees from the public sector and the technology industry, with West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership CEO Rob Webster as keynote speakers.
The date for our next London Dinner is now also confirmed, taking place on 24 November. Register here to attend and join us on the night. Lord Kamall, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Technology, Innovation and Life Sciences at the Department of Health and Social Care, and Sonia Patel, System Chief Information Officer at NHS England, will be speaking at the event.
And, of course, we also launched our flagship report – Right from the Start: What do Integrated Care Systems need to prioritise to make digital, data, and technology work for them and their populations?
Aiming for greater interoperability of systems
Our Interoperability Working Group has continued to push for improvements within the NHS and social care, with three meetings held so far this year, as well as an event with the Interoperable Medicines Programme at NHS Digital. The Group has worked to refresh the Interoperability Charter, outlining a set of principles that members commit to adhering to ensure their systems become enablers of change and help to drive the digital transformation of health and care. Please get in touch if you would like to receive a copy and/or sign up!
Pushing for policy
In addition to hosting the Mayor of West Yorkshire at our Leeds Dinner, pushing for changes to the application of DTAC and for amendments to the Health and Care Act, we have so far responded to five consultations, holding workshops to gather member views on the:
- Joining up care for people, places and populations white paper
- Draft Standards & Interoperability Strategy
- Digital Health and Care Plan
- NICE updates to the Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies
- MPs inquiry to examine government progress to achieve a digitally enabled health system across the NHS.
If you want to get more involved in the work techUK do or run to represent your company on the Health & Social Care Council later this year, please get in touch. We have lots of events coming up before the end of the year, which you can see here.
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