#NHS70: Future-Proofing the NHS Through Partnership

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Neil Davis, Strategic Capabilities Director UK & IRE Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, looks at the history and future of the NHS, 70 years after its founding.

“The NHS has turned 70 and it is a time to celebrate both the history and future of our beloved National Health Service. Each one of us will have benefited from access to the NHS at some point in our lives, most likely as we came into the world. But what does the future hold for the NHS and how can we secure its success for the next 70 years?

“It can’t be denied that the NHS is facing more pressure than ever before; by 2030 it is estimated that there will be around 15 million people in the UK over the age of 65. The increase in life expectancy from where it was in the post-war era of 1948 when the NHS was launched is a huge achievement, but with it comes the challenges of an ageing population, underpinned with a continued expectation on the NHS to improve outcomes while reducing costs. A growing and ageing population also continues to add to the financial challenges facing our healthcare system especially in terms of capacity.

“Today, industry has a responsibility in shaping the future healthcare landscape by partnering with the NHS to co-create solutions that deliver value to providers, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. We know that we need to deliver more than the product-based solutions that we have developed for over 130 years. We need to collaborate to support healthcare providers to find ways of addressing both their clinical, operational and cost-based issues.

“It was with this mindset that Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) launched CareAdvantage, a holistic approach to co-creating solutions with our health provider partners. Our data-led approach has shown us that the changing healthcare landscape requires a new type of partnership between industry and the NHS. It reflects our joint commitment to improving the future of healthcare through innovation and collaboration.

“We are incredibly proud to be collaborating with many NHS trusts across the country with this value-based offering and of the results being generated. What’s become clear working to this approach, is that there are numerous recurring challenges that we are asked to support with tackling within each trust. These include bed capacity shortages, long referral times and waiting lists, theatre processes that need streamlining and, of course, supporting patient outcomes, all while reducing costs.

“To tackle this, we have created processes and pathways to help trusts to embed clinical best practice and reduce process variation which are designed to align to initiatives such as Getting It Right First Time. We aim to take a whole system approach, which means we can provide support in theatres from a non-clinical perspective, such as data-driven planning and theatre visualisation, right through to developing standardised patient messaging to drive consistency of care pathways. Collaborating in this way generates an increase in activity throughput in theatres, meaning higher levels of utilisation can be achieved, ultimately translating into being able to treat more patients, more efficiently.

“I truly believe that collaboration between the NHS and industry will help to secure the success of the NHS for the next 70 years. By keeping the patient experience and hospital need at the centre of the partnership, we can customise an approach to generate solutions that get to the heart of the challenges faced, and ultimately create better outcomes for our end user, the patient.

“So, Happy Birthday NHS, we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds and we are excited to be part of it.”