UK governments outlined their plans for lifting restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus, as vaccination campaigns continued, and the death toll reached 122,000. The English government’s procurement decisions during the pandemic started to receive some serious scrutiny.
NHSX formally launched its Data Technology Assessment Criteria. And the IHSCM’s latest HealthChat between Roy Lilley and Jon Hoeksma was a lively affair, that covered everything from the failure of the National Programme for IT to the future of digital health. We listened in.
The government hit its first Covid-19 vaccination target, but made it clear there is a long way to go before the UK exits lockdown. The Health Service Journal reported that NHSX could be wrapped into a new transformation unit at NHS England and Improvement. Comments from the magazine’s readers suggest that they, at least, won’t miss it.
Also this week, Matthew D’Arcy talks to Jane Brightman, who has been appointed to lead the newly named Institute of Health and Social Care Excellence’s work on social care, about how to keep up the digital momentum created by Covid, and what vendors can do to help.
The government launched a white paper that is likely to trigger another round of NHS reorganisation. The ‘Integration and Innovation’ paper proposes strengthening the centre’s grip on the service, while putting integrated care systems on a statutory basis. Reaction was lukewarm, with medical leaders and think-tanks asking why the government would want to embark on another round of upheaval while the service is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Technology will be essential to delivering on the white paper’s ambition for ICSs to focus on population health management and integrated care. We have an interview with Tom Russell and Leontina Postelnicu, the authors of a techUK paper setting out a ten-point plan to help it play its role. And we have analysis of a specific element of that tech agenda: NHSX’s target for all ICSs to have a shared care record in place by September.