Spending Review offers some hope for health IT

This week’s long-awaited Spending Review delivered £1bn of the £3-5bn thought requested by NHS England towards health technology. It is not quite the early Christmas present that we were after, but it’s certainly not a gift horse to look in the mouth.

The government has backed the Five Year Forward View with the front-loaded investment it asked for. So whilst analysts will point to lean times in the years to come as investment levels fall, and to the impact that changes to public health and social care funding will have, the immediate outlook appears good.

The healthcare technology industry shows time and again that it has the ability to help the NHS and social care save lives, improve efficiency, integrate care and save money. These are all themes that came out strongly in the Spending Review. Suppliers would say: “We can do that.”

What suppliers might also like to think about is what else they can do to support the NHS.

Can they show NHS trusts that the return for an initial investment can be realised in years two and three, when the level of central investment falls? Even better, can they save them money now, especially on staffing, targeted outcomes and better, safer care?

Can they support with education and training to help plug the gaps that may well come if less money goes to Health Education England?

Can they help with the promotion of public health, even if it is as simple as funding a website or a leaflet that can help people understand more about conditions and services?

And can they work in a world with reduced levels of social care support, and where technology can help people stay independent for longer?

Having worked in the field for many years, I think I know the answer. Health technology innovators can do that. Let us help the NHS with the technology, support and ideas that demonstrate our shared passion for the delivery of outstanding care.

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Susan Venables

Founder and Client Services Director
Susan takes a fresh approach to marketing and public relations. She established Highland Marketing in 2002 after a long career working with well-known agencies and clients ranging from SMEs to multi-nationals. During the past 20 years she has helped many companies within the technology and healthcare IT sectors to raise brand awareness and reach new potential customers. Susan is respected by clients, getting them and their services noticed when and where it matters, and by the media where she has many long-standing contacts.
“Effective marketing and communications demands a lot of passion, commitment and experience, and that's exactly what we provide for clients. Right from the start I match them with a team of people who each have at least ten years' experience, and who often know what it's like to run their own business. That mixture of maturity and determination is very potent. Clients really notice the difference, especially those who have previously worked with agencies that send in their top people to win an account then hand the actual work to inexperienced junior staff.”
A little about Susan:
  • Champion athlete - During her first year at Durham University she thought she would have a go at rowing. By the third year she was winning national competitions and was later part of the GB women's lightweight rowing squad.
  • Dog lover - Susan developed a love of dogs when she was a little girl in the Warwickshire market town of Southam when the family's pet used to protect her pram. These days she has two black Labradors, and a Samoyed to exercise.
  • No second best - As a child she always had a rebellious streak combined with a determination to excel, especially at sports like hockey, athletics and netball. Those traits carried over into adult life where she found her niche establishing and building her own business rather than following a corporate career path.

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