The NHS: Creating a New Service Model for the 21st Century

No matter what the nature of a business or organisation, its ongoing success is dependent upon how it responds to the needs of its staff and the general public. With 1.5 million employees and serving everyone in the UK, the NHS is certainly no exception.

The NHS is often unfairly seen as a double-edged sword. Whilst many may complain about a lack of available appointments and lengthy waiting times, no one can deny that we have one of the very best healthcare provisions in the entire world. Without the NHS, countless people would not receive the vital care, support and treatment that they need, making it an institution that is truly priceless.

Even when you consider how complex the daily operation of such an enormous institution must be, it’s easy to not know about the many initiatives that the NHS has in place to ensure continual development and improvement. For instance, the views of staff and the experiences of patients play a crucial part in delivering services that are safe, effective and continuously improving, with insight coming from a range of sources. These include surveys, focus groups, public meetings, individual feedback, conversations on social media, and many other methods of gathering the type of information that helps to improve the quality of care provided. As the website states, this insight also uncovers issues that traditional data doesn’t, such as the levels of dignity, compassion, and respect within the organisation’s infrastructure.

Whilst these methods of acquiring feedback are highly effective, the NHS doesn’t leave it at that. The National Insight Network invites anyone in England who is interested in insight work to get in touch (england.insight-queries@nhs.net) and help with the improvement of awareness, information sharing and expertise throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the Accessible Information Standard is dedicated to making NHS services accessible to all. This includes the right for people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss to contact and be contacted by services in ways that suit their requirements, such as via email and text message, as well as receive information in a format that they can easily use, ranging from audio to braille. Communication during appointments is also factored in, with British Sign Language interpreters and lip-readers available if desired.

Another fantastic commitment that the NHS has made to its users is its Long Term Plan, which incorporates everything from creating a new service model for the 21st century to growing the medical workforce and achieving sustainability. Chapter 5 of this plan focuses on how digitally-enabled care will go mainstream across the NHS, covering a wide-ranging programme to upgrade technology and grow its comprehensive framework of digitally enabled care.

As part of the plan, the next ten years will see significant developments in the shape of straightforward digital access to services, the use of artificial intelligence systems to ensure best practice, intuitive data capturing tools, predictive techniques to help local health systems to plan for their populations, and of course, exceptional data security. Put simply, it’s an exciting time to be alive, and thanks to these developments in the NHS, everyone has the support required to live healthier for longer.

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