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The Health Tech Alliance was delighted to attend a conference on ‘Innovation and technology in the NHS – development, uptake and workforce engagement’ organised by the Westminster Health Forum.

Dr Simon Eccles, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at NHSX, highlighted NHSX’s role in ensuring that policy development aligned to delivery. NHSX, created in February 2019, brings together teams from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement together into a single unit. Eccles explained that their focus will be five-fold:

  1. Reducing burdens on staff
  2. Ensuring citizens can access information and services directly
  3. Making sure clinical information can be safely and digitally accessed
  4. Improving patient safety across the NHS
  5. Increasing NHS productivity

Later we heard from Lucy Watts, a patient representative on the NHS Assembly, who delivered an impassioned speech on the impact that healthtech has had on her care and for adoption of innovation to complement the care delivered by NHS clinicians.

Concluding the event, James Hawkins, Director of Strategy at NHS Digital highlighted that policy on the uptake of innovation had moved forward significantly in the last few years. It was noted that the long-term plan represented the first time an NHS strategy document had digital and technology at its core and embedded throughout. The decision to refresh the Accelerated Access Collaborative and make it the ‘front door’ for healthcare innovation was also highlighted as an important step in ensuring that policy implementation matches the ambition to deliver the best possible patient outcomes.