Ahmed and I know as well as anyone that transparent, collaborative working within the NHS is the most effective way to get the highest standard of work done, in the most efficient way, and importantly make patients well again. The last few years that we’ve witnessed within the NHS have been some of its hardest. As budgets are stretched to breaking point and every penny is scrutinised, rather than coming together as one NHS, pools of money have been separated and allocated to individual Trusts. This has led to a separation of resources, staff and ultimately formed silos of communication within the NHS.
This week Matt Hancock addressed the nation and urged leaders to align through advances in technology:
“Better technology is vital to have and embracing it is the only way to make the NHS sustainable over the long term.
“We need to give our people, our leaders and future leaders, our clinicians and our non-clinicians, the tools, confidence and understanding they need. Because in the end, this whole agenda is not just about the technology, it’s about people.”
It was his last three words that stayed with me. Yes, we can develop world leading technology, yes, we can show evidence of this technology saving time, money and people’s lives, but we need everyone within the NHS to use it, share it and adapt it, in order for true transparency.
It pleases me to say we have begun to witness this desire for change first-hand through the launch of the Digital Collaborative Bank. Our platform provides locum doctors access to shifts at all participating Trusts of which there are currently eight across the UK. The platform aims to create, for the first time, one national staffing pool across the whole of the NHS, and, in turn, save it £1bn.
As Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, said the NHS needs to be “brave and bold” when it comes to adopting new technology. Across the country, bold Trust leaders are now discussing how they are indeed proud that their doctors are cross-covering shifts at their neighbouring Trusts, obliterating reliance on expensive agencies and improving patient continuity and ultimately quality of care.
Through our vision to, at last, have one NHS, one staff bank, it really feels that every day we’re getting one step closer to breaking down the barriers of silo NHS organisations competing with each other for the best talent. We are seeing genuine movement and interest from leaders within the NHS towards this collaborative approach.
On behalf of the entire team here at Locum’s Nest, we pledge to do everything in our power to stay true to what drove us to start this company in the first place: deep commitment to an equitable and fair health service, by working together.
Doctor, Co-Founder at Locum’s Nest