Digital Technology Answer To NHS Crisis
Britons have been told that the gruelling scramble for an 8am doctor's appointment will soon be a thing of the past thanks to digital telephony software.
Experts from TelephoneSystems.Cloud have hailed the Department for Health and Social Care's (DHSC) decision to give £240 million in funding to GP practices to adopt modern technologies and conquer the NHS Crisis.
Since the pandemic ended and restrictions were lifted, GP surgeries nationwide have been in turmoil, with patients struggling to contact their general practice and missing out on the care they need.
While the pandemic accelerated technological change across the broader business sectors, until now, the NHS has lagged dangerously behind.
Any treatment on the NHS usually begins with a trip to the local GP practice followed by a face-to-face appointment, but COVID-19 highlighted the need for change when the system could not cope with a transition to remote care.
The disruption of ordinary care resulted in massive backlogs and longer patient waits. Over 7.33 million people are now on NHS waiting lists for consultant-led elective care, and the numbers are only growing.
Before the pandemic, in February 2020, there were 4.43 million people on the waiting list for care, and experts say it will take years to clear the growing backlog.
The NHS England’s access to a primary care recovery plan, recently unveiled by the government, will see practices given £240 million to take up the latest technology and replace the old, outdated, analogue phones with modern systems.
The NHS also published changes to the GP Contracts for 2023/2024, which states that the cloud-based-telephone National Framework will be mandatory and only cloud-based solutions will be supported by the end of 2025.
It is hoped that the government's commitment to the funding of technology will empower patients to manage their own care using the new tools so they aren’t asked to call back another day to book appointments, and so they know how their care will be managed on the day.
Juliet Moran, from TelephoneSystems.Cloud said: “The medical crisis has driven a need to implement changes in the NHS and GP phone systems are no exception. Modern technologies and tools like cloud data and digital telephony will now enhance care and combat primary care issues."
“These technological advances will offer significant opportunities to improve healthcare to scale, deliver quicker results and offer seamless services."
“As practices are able to use the technology to receive, navigate, access, and respond to requests, patients will benefit from rapid assessments and responses which will cut wait times, capacity, and the dreaded 8 am rush."
“The bottom line is that technology is constantly evolving, and will not wait for the NHS to catch up, so this funding is vital to modernise and improve services and accessibility, especially in primary care."
“The success of markets like cloud computing since the pandemic has demonstrated that technology can improve efficiency and productivity, and it is excellent to know that the NHS will soon enjoy its benefits."
“It is great to see that the government has recognised the role of technology in providing patient satisfaction and delivering on cutting down waiting lists.”