UK government must tap into and interconnect with investors to support NHS, says RSM UK

With the new Labour government pledging to 'build an NHS fit for the future', an injection of money, whilst welcome, will not be enough - it must be rolled out in a measured and integrated way that works more closely with the private sector in order to make a real difference, says RSM UK. 

Clive Makombera, partner and head of NHS at the leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK, comments: 'Labour’s plans for the NHS imply seismic changes in workforce performance and culture. The government has set itself the challenge of clearing waiting times for elective treatment of over 18 weeks within five years. That means clearing the current backlog of 3.2 million cases and new ones joining the list. This also comes with a bold commitment of delivering an extra 40,000 appointments a week across the system. 

'These aims will be a step change in productivity and increased collaboration with the private healthcare sector to reduce the backlog. These plans will require significant funding and the funding baselines are currently unclear. To deliver these aims the government will also need to address the workforce challenges of recruitment and retention including resolving the junior doctors’ strike. The investment in technology to drive down costs while improving productivity, diagnostic capability and quality is key. This again, will need investment and the buy-in of clinical teams who are facing burn out.'

Suneel Gupta, partner and head of private healthcare at RSM UK, added: 'Healthcare is a highly attractive sector for private investors, so the government ought to leverage this interest and bring these investors onboard to help overcome the challenges facing the NHS. We’re already seeing the private sector playing an increasing role in supporting the NHS, delivering care and investing in new products and technologies, which looks set to continue under Labour. But attracting and implementing further investment must be done carefully, ensuring that patient outcomes remain the priority. To be successful, the NHS and private sector must work more closely together for the benefit of patients. 

'However, as more collaboration takes place between the NHS and private sector, so will the sharing of data, alongside greater use of technology, significantly increasing the cyber threat. Organisations across the healthcare ecosystem need to be prepared for attacks, as it’s increasingly a case of when, not if, one takes place.'

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