Investment, integration and innovation are critical to the future of healthcare say sector experts

Investment, integration and innovation are critical to the future of healthcare say sector experts

The future of healthcare will require greater integration between public and private sectors and a “seismic cultural shift” according to healthcare professionals in the South East.

Addressing the issues of funding, increasing investment in the workforce and keeping up with advances in technology are also critical in ensuring that the delivery of high quality care is sustainable in the long term.

These opinions formed part of a recent roundtable discussion held by Brachers and Grant Thornton UK LLP, which brought together experts from the healthcare sector to explore the current challenges faced by the NHS and the changing landscape in the sector over the next five to 10 years.

Financial constraints were high on the agenda, with the panel commenting that the healthcare sector is currently required to deliver “an all you can eat buffet on a soup kitchen budget.”  Greater efficiencies in commissioning and an increased role for the private sector in filling the gaps in delivery were also considered, if current barriers to integration can be removed. 

Alongside the challenges of funding, a restructure in primary care and ‘fast tracked’ training were suggested as ways of addressing the diminishing workforce. Panellists also agreed that the role of technology would be significant in enhancing efficiency in patient care in the future; but that the sector needs to overcome the fear of change and foster an environment of adaptability to enable innovation.

John Sheath, Head of Healthcare at Brachers said: ”Although there was a degree of frustration with the NHS from the delegates there were some real positives to be drawn from the debate. The anecdotal examples of significant successes around the table of how technology and private sector contributions have led to considerable improvement in patient care.”

Jon Maile, Assurance Partner at Grant Thornton said: ”All those attending the debate were absolutely passionate about working collaboratively to improve the delivery of quality healthcare now and in the future. I find that very encouraging.”

A summary of the full discussion can be viewed in the report “The future of healthcare: A public and private challenge.”