Our response to: ‘Digital transformation in the NHS’

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee has today completed its evaluation of digital transformation in the NHS and published its report. In carrying out its work, the Select Committee gathered evidence from a wide range of sources including an Expert Panel. The DHC was a member of this Expert Panel representing the views of its members. 

Digital solutions can transform patient experience and service access. We need to build on the significant progress made over the last few years. The DHC supports the recommendations set out by today’s report:

  • Focussing on innovation and interoperability
  • Investing in skilled digital professionals
  • Reducing digital exclusion

If taken forward, these actions would improve the way in which digital technologies are adopted and accessed. But our plans must not stop there. In addition to the recommendations set out in today’s report, the DHC and members are calling for:

  1. Improved communication between the NHS and digital companies. Today’s report does not address how best to work with the market. Improving engagement will help innovators meet service needs. It will also help services and systems understand the challenges companies face.
  2. National commissioning and funding for innovation that addresses key challenges. This could include tackling waiting lists, primary care access and prevention.
  3. Ensure the rollout of national policy supports the scale and spread of innovation. National initiatives such as the expansion of the NHS App have great potential. We must ensure they facilitate the use of digital tech and aren’t a barrier to innovation.
  4. A predictable reimbursement model. This must reward outcomes and incentivise long term investment in the NHS.
  5. Stimulate demand by publishing needs and solutions sought by ICSs. This would improve collaboration and help innovators to respond to demand.
  6. Develop ICS policies that support the scaling of effective technologies. There are pockets of excellence across the UK. We must support digital companies and NHS services to expand these initiatives so that more staff and patients can benefit.

You can read the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report here.

The DHC represents digital companies across the health and care sector. View our current membership here.

For more information about the Digital Healthcare Council, please email contact@digitalhealthcarecouncil.com