On Tuesday 7th June, the Acumentice Business Development team attended the HSJi Live Conference 2022, held in the state-of-the-art Exhibition centre, 133 Houndsditch. This was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from different parts of the country, meet HSJ journalists and listen to their insightful talks that revealed the current challenges faced by NHS. As this was the first HSJi Live Conference since the Covid pandemic, it was energising to observe how all attendees were enthused by connecting in person again discussing crucial NHS questions under one roof. This certainly facilitated the process of gaining a shared and deeper understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector.
The dominant theme of the conference was, How the private sector can support the NHS?. This central theme was explored through three panel discussions – Recovering from the pandemic, Integrated Care and Workforce Reform and What is the NHS buying and how?. The opening words of Alastair McLellan, HSJ Editor, highlighted the importance of suppliers in supporting both the NHS and HSJ, were especially memorable to us and connected all the delegates. We were all in this together indeed and HSJi Conference definitely marked the transition from the peak of the pandemic to looking at ways to resolve its impact.
The theme that attracted our attention the most was Recovering from the Pandemic as we continue to work with many NHS organisations supporting their recovery. The talk was delivered in 3 parts by James Illman, Ben Clover and Matt Discombe from the HSJ. Especially useful were the insights around waiting lists discussed by James Illman. The principal message was that cutting waiting list times remained the NHS’s main operational priority because they would continue growing considerably for years to come. As we are aware, the maximum waiting time of 18-week standard set by NHS was not regularly achieved even before the onset of the pandemic. Philip Purdy, Principal Consultant at Acumentice, comments, “To fix waiting times, it is important to look at the whole pathway a patient goes through before they leave NHS services. Quite often there are unintentional attempts to optimise waiting times just in the beginning or the end of the pathway. It is important to be aware that this approach only creates more problems”.
Thus, for example, addressing waiting lists only for outpatient consultations, ignoring diagnostics, will only create more demand for diagnostics and enlarge the waiting list. Therefore, it is vital to approach waiting list management holistically, not ignoring any part of a patient’s journey. We continue to support clients design recovery programmes that reflect on this crucial question and believe that to ensure the successful recovery of NHS services, Trusts should be confident in applying this holistic vision when resolving capacity problems.
At Acumentice, we take a holistic and bespoke approach to working with our NHS clients, supporting them to understand and build a clear picture and assessment of their elective care waiting lists, working with them in partnership to deliver truly effective solutions. We ensure that Trusts receive a fresh perspective on the state of their waiting lists on different stages of patient’s journey and understand where the improvements are required. With sophisticated and innovative modelling and analytics tools, we bring sustainable improvements to support recovery and capacity planning to make sure NHS’s main operational priority – cutting waiting list times – discussed by Illman, is at the core of our services.
To conclude, the HSJi Live conference was a great experience, particularly to understand key challenges facing the NHS, and also to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues and suppliers from the healthcare sector. The key themes presented has reinforced the importance of the work we do around waiting lists and elective care recovery. Both of these services remain crucial for the foreseeable, to help heal the NHS and to ensure all patients receive timely access to treatment as a result, guarding patient safety as much as possible.
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