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Healthcare consultations are traditionally face-to-face interactions. As the demand for healthcare services continues to grow, it is increasingly difficult for patients to obtain timely and convenient face-to-face appointments. This week’s blog, by the Centre’s analyst, Amen Sanghera, explores recent developments in the use of virtual consultation made possible by the move from analogue to digital services and how these consultations (including telemedicine, video and chat-bots) could improve efficiency and connectivity across healthcare and provide better support to patients.
The NHS provides highly specialised and energy intensive hospital services to more than one million people every 36 hours. Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with energy bills costing upwards of £750 million every year.1 Energy costs are expected to increase at a rate above inflation; consuming an increasing share of NHS budgets. Systematically reducing energy use through demand reduction and a transition to low cost, renewable sources will help not only save money, it will also lower the NHS's carbon footprint and could even become a source of revenue. Experts estimate that efficiency measures could cut the energy bill by up to 20 per cent, saving £150 million each year. This week’s blog is written by our colleague, Stuart Wright, a leader in energy advisory services working in Risk Advisory, and discusses how smart approaches to energy use can help protect front line services.
Earlier this year we published our report, At a tipping point? Workplace mental health and wellbeing. In conducting our research, and since publication, we have engaged in numerous conversations on how perceptions around mental health and wellbeing are shifting. While it is inspiring to see the many initiatives that are underway around raising awareness of the importance maintaining both mental and physical health, what matters more is that all of us engage more effectively in our own health and wellbeing, including understanding our own trigger points and what measures we can take to manage our own mental resilience. My trigger has always been the length and quality of my sleep, and given this week is Deloitte’s Clients and Markets’ mental health awareness week, I thought I would use this week’s blog to share the evidence available on sleep hygiene, wellbeing and performance.
What’s happening in Primary Care and whether a rethink of the GP consultation process is long overdue?
In November 2016 we published our report, Primary Care Today and Tomorrow; Adapting to survive, which highlighted the growing number of challenges facing primary care, including the fact that funding has fallen well below the funding of hospitals despite expectations that more care should be delivered in primary care. It evaluated the impact of rising demand in the face of an increasingly challenged workforce. It also acknowledged that a plethora of policy initiatives had been launched to tackle many of the identified problems, including the General Practice Forward View (GPFYFW). We concluded that the future of primary care, and in particular general practice, was at a tipping point, and that immediate action was needed to ensure it had a sustainable future. Some ten months later, the media headlines continue to highlight concerns over general practice, so I thought I would use this week’s blog to look at the developments to date.
Last weekend, for all intents and purposes, was a quiet weekend in the middle of August; Parliament was in recess and most healthcare commentators were taking the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned summer break, and then the media airways began buzzing with a new healthcare spat, this time between the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Professor Stephen Hawking. The exchange saw claims and counter-claims scattered across Twitter and the pages of the weekend papers, with each contender accusing the other of ignoring evidence.1 For me, while the need for evidence based policy is undoubtedly important, at the heart of the debate is the question of funding and whether the government’s plans for the NHS, espoused in the Five Year Forward View2, are achievable within the current funding envelope? I’ve therefore used this week’s blog to explore what’s been happening to NHS funding.
Breaking the dependency cycle: Why improving children’s health requires investment beyond healthcare services
In June we published our report, ‘Breaking the dependency cycle: Tackling health inequalities of vulnerable families’, which illustrates how the combined impact of unemployment, economic and social disadvantage is often passed down from parents to children, creating a negative spiral of inequalities.1 This week’s blog, by Matthew Thaxter, one of our two analysts here at the Centre, takes a deeper look into how the social determinants of health impact the health status of children.
This week’s blog appeared as an article in Deloitte Insights in the CIO Journal from The Wall Street Journal last month and is written by our colleagues in the US: Veronica Lim, Principle; Russell Jones, partner; and Nick Sikorski, senior consultant. The article, linked to a Dbrief Webcast in May 2017 titled Medical devices and the Internet of Things: A three-layer defence against cyber threats, discusses the cyber security issues affecting new and legacy medical devices and the strategies companies can use to mitigate the risks associated with them.
Last month we published our report ‘Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity’, which looks at the ways pharma is utilising digital technologies to place the patient at the centre of new business and operating models. To support the report, we commissioned primary research from PatientView, a UK-based research company specialising in obtaining perspectives from patient groups across the world. PatientView surveyed patient groups, on our behalf, on their views regarding the use of health apps, including those produced or developed by pharma companies. A mix of 10 multiple-choice and open-ended questions were asked, to which 190 patient groups, representing 56 therapy areas from 38 countries, responded. This week’s blog, by Amen Sanghera, one of our two analysts here at the Centre, takes a deeper look into the findings from the survey.
Twenty years; that’s how much longer someone who spends their life in an affluent neighbourhood might live compared to someone who grows up in a socioeconomically deprived section of the same city. That appears to be the case in major cities across Europe and the United States. This inequality in health outcomes is only to a small part explained by the lack of access to medical care. Last month we published our report, Breaking the dependency cycle which examined the more intransigent causes including access to and opportunities in education, employment, housing, public transport and welfare services . Our report identifies a host of case studies and urges governments and providers to break down organisational barriers and collectively address these wider social determinants of health. Throughout our research, we were able to exchange ideas with our colleagues from the US Center for Health Solutions who last week launched their report Addressing social determinants of health in hospitals that analyses, how US hospitals, in their crucial position within the care system, are investing in social needs. This week’s blog is written by our US colleague, Josh Lee, who leads the firm’s US Healthcare Provider Strategy Practice and first appeared as part of the US Center for Health Solution blog. The article highlights the motivation for the report, identifies challenges and points to key strategies that could be adopted by hospitals and integrated local health systems globally to improve health outcomes.
This week we launched our report Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity. Our report focusses on pharma’s efforts to utilise smartphone apps, wearables and other digital technologies in an effort to put patients at the centre of new business and operating models. This transformation, from a provider-driven marketplace to a patient-centric health ecosystem, is being driven by the need to demonstrate value to payers and patients and respond to a variety of powerful forces that are transforming healthcare. These forces are requiring pharma to become more agile and to do more for patients than deliver safe and effective drugs.
Last week marked the 69th birthday of the NHS and, as is the case with most anniversaries, it provided a reason to reflect on what has been achieved and to contemplate what the future might bring. Today however, the positivity we saw five years ago, when the NHS was lauded at the London Olympic Games, has been replaced with a rising number of concerns over its funding and sustainability. I thought I would use this week’s blog to highlight some of the more positive milestones seen over the past 69 years and contemplate what we can do to ensure that the NHS can celebrate its seventieth birthday in robust health.