Yesterday (Thursday 11 April) our Chief Executive, Rachel Power, joined a panel of experts at the Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) Digital Transformation Summit to discuss the implemention of the NHS Long Term Plan. The annual HSJ event focuses on the innovations taking place across the country that will shape the NHS of the future, with topics at this year’s conference exploring how data can improve patient safety, barriers to adopting new technology, and achieving staff acceptance to new ways of working.

Joining Rachel on the panel were Carrie MacEwen, (Chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges), Sam Shah, (Director of Digital Development, NHS England) and Julian Hartley (Chief Executive, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust). The panel discussed the NHS Long Term Plan and how it could be translated into action to benefit patients.

Rachel shared the Patients Association’s view, saying that shortcomings outside the plan itself meant that on its own the plan would be unable to safeguard the future of the health and social care system. Rachel pointed out that the Long Term Plan is not part of a wider strategy, with workforce development, social care and capital expenditure glaring omissions that need to be addressed. While the plan does have its strengths, patient engagement is mentioned only once within the Long Term Plan – and even that only in passing – in the phrase ‘local communities and delivery partners’.

Rachel concluded by challenging delegates, many of whom were Chief Executives and senior officers within the NHS, to better engage and involve patients in the local delivery of the Long Term Plan. You can catch up on our response to the NHS Long Term Plan here.

Friday 12 April 2019