Health technology

The right technology to reduce the backlog

Organisations across the NHS are increasingly looking to automation to reduce the backlog. With any number of ways to do it, we’ve brought the experts together for a live panel discussion. Join our webinar on 18th April 2023 and hear two NHS Chief Technology Officers debate the best way forward.

The only way is automation

Automation is at the forefront of every CTO’s mind, whatever their sector. Despite living in the digital age, some of the biggest companies in the world are still spending millions to connect disparate systems and make paper processes redundant. Because these companies, and their processes, came of age in a different time.

This challenge is amplified in the NHS, with a maze of national, regional and local systems – each one supporting vital patient care – fighting to communicate. It’s not just a back-office issue either. The administrative tasks it creates ties clinicians up in knots, leaving them downloading, uploading or cross-checking data when they’d rather be treating patients.

Picking the best way forward

Automation offers a way out of this maze, but what’s the best path?

We previously wrote about application programming interfaces (APIs) and robotic process automation (RPA) as two of the main approaches, and unearthed some strong views when we did.

Our article dealt specifically with referrals to secondary care, an area that’s awash with admin. Consultants often have to log in to multiple systems, download and print scans and then update each system manually. And that’s after the referring GP surgery has printed out documents from one system just to scan and upload them to another.

We felt the data entry part might easily be completed using RPA, as it can in effect copy across data from one system to another. Which is great if what you’re copying from – and to – won’t change that much. APIs, on the other hand, create rules of engagement that keep the relevant systems talking to each other ‘live’ even when one of them gets updated. We felt this approach was better suited to the complexities of the NHS.

Hear from the experts on 23rd April 2023

Is one approach better than the other? Does it depend on the task at hand? Or could there be a pivot point where RPA will need to hand over to APIs? It’s an interesting area, so we’ve brought together an experienced panel of experts, including two NHS CTOs, to debate the merits (and demerits) of both approaches.

Register for this free online event and hear from:

  • Gary McAllister, CTO of One London and NHS London
  • Darren Atkins, CTO - Automation at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Moderated by Professor Sam Shah, Chief Medical Strategy Officer, Numan, we predict a lively debate on the future of RPI and APIs in NHS tech development.




Sign up to our live webinar.

18th April, 9:00am - 9:45am

Click here for more information.

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all