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A new role for industry: a new future for the NHS

becky slack | new statesman | 5 January 2016

PA Consulting Group’s George MacGinnis, a healthcare expert, is quoted in an article in New Statesman. The article looks at how tech companies and the NHS can work together to improve care and save money.

George talks about the importance of procurement processes and how these are beginning to change. He says: “Typically the NHS decides it wants something and goes to market to buy it. It is now beginning to understand the different additional value offering – is there risk that can be shared, for example?”

George goes on to explain that there are lessons that can be learnt from the Ministry of Defence, which changed the nature of the deals it was brokering with aircraft manufacturers: “They didn’t just buy the aircraft, they bought having a number of aircraft ready to fly. The NHS is starting to work in a similar way – a telehealth company might not just offer a piece of equipment but could also be responsible for maintaining and servicing the equipment. They may agree to train NHS staff in how to use it; and they might even offer to run the associated clinical service for them.”

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George also comments on the role of regulation and accountability in helping engender trust in new ways of working. He explains: “Change needs to be led by clinicians and not industry, and the NHS needs to ensure it is transparent when declaring the value it gets from services.”

Finally, George comments on the role of NHS funding structures and the possibility of paying companies based on health outcomes. George says: “While paying companies based on their results is a great goal to aim for, the clinical outcomes might not happen for many years, and when they do, they can be difficult to measure accurately.”

 

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