Healthcare in Health Solutions

Could smart approaches to energy help protect front line services?


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.

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Posted on 15/09/2017 | 0 Comments

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.

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Posted on 01/09/2017 | 0 Comments

Is there a link between NHS funding and performance?


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.

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Posted on 25/08/2017 | 0 Comments

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.

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Posted on 18/08/2017 | 0 Comments

What are US hospitals doing to improve the health of their communities?


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.

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Posted on 28/07/2017 | 0 Comments

Pharma and the connected patient: How digital technology is enabling patient centricity


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.

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Posted on 21/07/2017 | 0 Comments

The NHS at 69 – a time to pause, reflect and celebrate


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.

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Posted on 14/07/2017 | 0 Comments

The smartphone at 10 years old! In what ways is it impacting healthcare?


Last week the smartphone turned ten. This device has revolutionised the way we interact with each other and more importantly with our own health. This week’s blog by Amen Sanghera, an analyst here at the Centre, takes a deeper dive into the key innovations that have enabled consumers to be more active participants in their own health and some of the challenges that still face the use of smartphone technologies in healthcare.

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Posted on 07/07/2017 | 0 Comments

Pharma and emerging markets: Unlocking the potential of emerging economies


Just a few years ago, slowing growth in the US and European pharmaceutical markets led many multinational pharmaceutical companies to seek new forms of growth in emerging markets. The primary growth drivers in emerging markets included increased government commitment to improving healthcare access, growing consumer income and wealth, and a growing prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as cancer and diabetes. However, in just a few short years it seems as though the industry sentiment towards emerging markets has somewhat shifted. This week’s blog, by Matthew Thaxter, an analyst here at the Centre looks some of the reasons why, and explores some of strategies pharma can employ to unlock the potential of emerging markets.

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Posted on 30/06/2017 | 0 Comments

Smart Hospitals: How technology is redefining future healthcare


This next technological revolution – the technology redefining the healthcare industry of the future - is combining vast amounts of available data, cloud computing services, automation and machine learning, and creating artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions that provide expert insight and analysis on a mass scale, at a relatively low cost. At the same time, connected sensors and medical devices are transforming the way the healthcare industry works. By 2020 the widespread adoption of technology-enabled care will ensure that the concept of the “Smart Hospital” becomes a reality. This week’s blog first appeared as an article that I wrote for Royal Philip linked to their launch of its Future Health Index.1 With their agreement I am repurposing the article as a Centre blog to share with our readers aimed at provoking discussion and debate.

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Posted on 22/06/2017 | 0 Comments