1:01 AM 8th November 2023
A New £30m Medtech Fund Could Provide A Lifeline For Patients This Winter
IHC winter pressures
A charity is warning of an “extremely dire” situation for NHS patients this winter, the launch of a £30m government investment in innovative medical technology should help ease pressure on hospitals in the coming months.
The Patients Association told The Times that it feared a repeat of last winter’s problems with patients waiting hours for ambulances as vehicles queued outside accident and emergency departments and medically fit people stayed in hospital beds due to a lack of community care.
The Department for Health and Social Care said the funding would see the latest innovations – from virtual wards to wearable medical devices – rolled out across the NHS in England.
Local care systems are urged to submit bids for funding to invest in technology that can help cut waiting lists, speed up diagnoses and deliver new and improved ways to treat patients.
Project delivery is expected this financial year, getting benefits to patients as quickly as possible.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said:
“The NHS is facing unprecedented challenges with more patients than ever waiting for treatment and the ongoing impact of industrial action.
“The government has recognised the vital role that technology will play in helping the NHS to care for people throughout the coming months and years.
“We are working with NHS organisations across the UK to create much-needed capacity within hospitals and support people with long-term conditions at home.”
Latest figures show waiting lists for planned NHS treatments have hit a new high at 7.75 million. In addition, cancer targets continue to be missed, the “hidden backlog” of patients who need care is growing, patients are waiting longer for emergency treatment and GPs are finding it harder to make referrals, according to the British Medical Association.
Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency has urged vulnerable groups to take up the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and ease the pressure on the NHS this winter.
Inhealthcare is a leading provider of remote patient monitoring and digital health services and partners with NHS organisations across the UK.
Inhealthcare is expanding one of the biggest remote monitoring services for blood pressure in Europe to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other serious conditions; it is launching virtual wards to support the delivery of safe and convenient care to people at home who would otherwise be in hospital; it is helping cancer patients to manage symptoms at home with timely advice and early access to hospital if required and it is increasing attendance at immunisation clinics by digitising paperwork processes.
The company collaborates with other innovators and last month announced a partnership with FibriCheck, the medically certified app for heart health, to help combat cardiovascular disease in the UK.
Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Inhealthcare has serviced more than three million episodes of care and produced more than 150 separate digital pathways. Patients using Inhealthcare services have a choice of communication channels including smartphone app, web browser, SMS text and automated telephone call, promoting digital inclusion.