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The Health Tech Alliance responded to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s recently launched inquiry ‘Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond’. In our response, we highlight the role that health tech can and should play in supporting the NHS and wider community to deliver core health and social care services.

Although the health service has been rightly focused on responding to COVID-19, the Alliance welcomed this timely inquiry as worrying reports emerge of the impact of the pandemic on the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, cancer, stroke and serious long-term conditions. It is imperative that the government, the health and social care services and industry now work together on delivering care during the rest of the pandemic and beyond.

In our response, we highlight the unprecedented manner in which digital and health technologies have been adopted and emphasise the need to maintain the use of innovative technologies moving forward.

Further key points and recommendations from the Health Tech Alliance’s response include:

  • The Government must continue to fund technologies which alleviate workforce pressures and help patients to access services
  • The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England must work hand-in-hand with Clinical Commissioning Groups, Trusts and all parts of the wider health system, including industry to harness the benefits of health tech
  • Health tech has a huge role to play in identifying and addressing those aspects of care which need attention and in reducing waiting lists
  • As the emphasis turns further towards restoring ordinary care, it is important that the emphasis should be on care quality and patient outcomes
  • Current limitations around health technology appraisals should be examined and the implementation of the MedTech Funding Mandate should be accelerated and expanded

Dame Barbara Hakin, Chair of the Health Tech Alliance, said “Health technologies have already had a hugely positive impact on primary, secondary and community care during the outbreak. As the new ‘normal’ emergences, it is imperative that health tech adoption continues at pace to reduce waiting lists and improve care quality”.