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Health and Social Care – It is time to think differently

I’m certainly not the first person to say how much I respect and support professionals at all levels across our health and social care system, so I listened with interest to the recent budget announcements in relation to health and social care in England. Unfortunately, despite the injection of cash mentioned, the system is still clearly broken and it will take more than one budget cycle to fix.


Resolving the situation that the NHS and social care find themselves in is clearly one of the top priorities for this Government and there is definitely intent through some of the initiatives announced to address the ongoing challenges of recovering from COVID-19 and increasing elective activity, diagnostics and community-based treatment facilities, patient quality and safety outcomes, as well as improving the pathways between health and social care.

The challenges that the health and social care workforce are experiencing with their own physical and mental health and wellbeing further exacerbates any recovery and brings additional issues for the whole system to handle. Furthermore, the ongoing situation regarding ‘levelling up’ across the UK add both complexity and opportunity to the recovery and sustainability of the whole system.

As the Chancellor mentioned, innovation (in health and care) provides the opportunity to realise enormous benefits driven by the imagination, drive and risk taking of private sector partners which is why I believe that there is an alternative, faster and innovative approach to supporting this recovery.

As part of my role at CGI, I’ve been working with existing and potential clients and partners across the UK, on what we collectively believe health and social care can achieve if we think differently. To not be constrained by what we do today, but focusing on what we need and can do for tomorrow if we think differently. We collectively believe there is a different way to address the challenges and drive transformative outcomes.

The response to improving health and care as a system, must start in the home. Home is where most people are, where they should be, and when it is safe and clinically possible, where they should stay.

This requires health and social care to be modernised, re-designed and fully integrated as a whole system approach, the person in their home and in their community is at the heart of our thinking.

We need to build capacity and resilience back into the system for our current workforce who so desperately need an alternative approach – because the existing one isn’t working for them.

Areas such as children’s health and wellbeing and all adult and elderly services, need to build up from smart and connected communities. We need to work together to complement each other’s learning and development, sharing learnings and enable pace, adoption, scalability and spread of innovation, not just technology, but service redesign, workforce engagement, patient and service user experience – which drives efficiency, efficacy and improvement in outcomes and sustainability.

The Chancellor’s investments announced last week will go some way towards supporting the recovery and we do need more buildings and more front-line people, right across the UK, but we cannot forget the front-line heroes we already have need rest and recovery themselves.

Part our collective response must consider the role digital and data services have to create capacity, reduce administrative burden and accelerate integration between health and care to improve pathways, empower citizens, consider the best use of all human resource assets, support better outcomes and give the tiniest glimmer of hope that the so desperately needed service redesign and transformational change is not as hard it seems when you’ve got the right team behind you.

Does this resonate with you and your organisation? Do you agree collaborative working is the answer to the recovery and designing a new approach for long-term sustainability for health and care services for the future? Do patients and service users care or want a different approach? What is the role of third sector? We already have some amazing thought leaders engaged from public, third and private sector, come and join in.

We’d love to hear your views and opinions on this topic.