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Digital arm of workforce strategy unveiled to help get NHS to ‘the next frontier’

Experts from the NHS and tech industry are being invited by Health Education England (HEE) to provide evidence to support the Topol Technology Review.

The review was commissioned by the health secretary to enlighten the work of the draft workforce strategy for England to 2027, ‘Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future.’

Cardiologist, geneticist and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol, facilitated by HEE, is leading the review.

Three key principles to govern the NHS’s future workforce strategy are outlined in the report.

The first is that, if willing and able, patients will be empowered by new tools to be more actively involved in their own care; secondly, any new technology introduced must by backed by robust research evidence with a reliable and ethical governance framework; and, whenever possible, new technology adopted should give more time for care to enhance patient-client relationships.

Dr Topol said: “We desperately need innovation in healthcare. Artificial intelligence is already in every aspect of our lives – from navigation to voice recognition – and will now be applied to healthcare, the next frontier.”

Patrick Mitchell, regional director south of England at HEE and lead director for the Topol Review, highlighted that the speed of the digital age provides the NHS the opportune time to review its position in respect to the effects of new technologies and innovations.

“More importantly the affect these changes will generate for the future that will help shape the training of our clinical workforce, to improve services for patients and help ensure a sustainable NHS,” he added.

Health minister Steve Barclay said Dr Topol’s work will “cement the NHS’s place as a world-leader in innovation” and empower staff.

If you have experience in introducing new technologies in healthcare or healthcare workforce education and development, you can submit evidence here.


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