Editor's Comment

25.09.17

A hotbed of innovation

Source: NHE Aug/Sep 2017

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier. 

Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday year of the NHS – he expects every patient to be able to access NHS 111, their healthcare record, book a GP appointment, order repeat prescriptions and more, all through an app. However, it remains to be seen how the system will measure up in delivering these goals. We all know what Dr Wachter thought of the ‘paperless by 2020’ deadline. 

One of the great things about Expo was the opportunity to see the numerous innovations being developed across the NHS; I just hope that efforts to spread learning right across the service come to fruition.

Throughout this issue of NHE we have some fantastic examples of new treatments and technologies, including some of the latest to have come from the NHS Innovation Accelerator. 

Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, writing for us on page 29, argues: “I defy anybody who says that the NHS is stuck in the mud or slow in its ways; actually, the NHS is a hotbed of innovation.” 

But he does admit that “clearly, as we think over the next three to five years, we need to go further, faster and accelerate what that looks like, but we are continuing to move in the right direction”.

While it is nice to write about the positive developments being made in the NHS, we also have to face the grim reality that the service is under immense pressure – the most since it was founded. 

Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, discusses the issue of pressure on page 26, which will be an underlying theme at his organisation’s annual conference in November. And, as you’ll have seen from the front cover, the Medical Defence Union explains how a flawed civil litigation system threatens to undermine the ability of the NHS to fund patient care. 

In other news, this will be my last edition as editor of NHE. After four very happy years with the title, I’ve decided to move on. But I’m certain that I have left the publication in a safe pair of hands. Thank you for allowing me to have a front row seat into the workings of the incredible health service family, and happy 70th birthday to the NHS in advance.

David Stevenson

Editor

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editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

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