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The NHS’s productivity dilemma – why a rounded approach is required

In our latest article for the HSJ, our Founder and Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, discusses why investment in tech alone won't solve the NHS's productivity issues - there needs to be a much wider approach, factoring in training, staff wellbeing and other areas, to really make progress.
Published on
April 16, 2024

In our latest article for the HSJ, which was published last week, our Managing Director and Founder, Karina Malhotra, explored the NHS’s productivity conundrum and why investment in tech alone won’t solve the problem.

In light of the recent Budget announcement pledging £3.4 billion towards modernising IT systems and increasing digital transformation in the NHS, Karina argues that funding and a focus on tech isn’t enough on its own. There also needs to be a clear focus on those who will be using the tech and training them up adequately to make the most of the innovations they have at their disposal.

As well as staff buy-in for the new tech, to really make a success of it, she says there are other factors to consider that will have a big bearing on productivity.

“Other elements that are likely to have a big bearing on productivity include staff wellbeing, motivation, health and pay,” she stated.

“After all, if you don’t have a happy, healthy and motivated workforce, any attempts to improve output are likely to fail. What’s more, a happy, healthy and motivated workforce is far more likely to fully embrace digital transformation, rather than seeing it as a time-consuming distraction.”

Karina adds that once staff are engaged, the crucial factor is how the new tech is delivered and implemented, pointing to the huge importance of training.

“As a former NHS senior leader, improving access to learning and development – and engaging, useful, practical learning and development at that – has long been a passion project of mine,” she says.

“It has been the inspiration behind Acumentice’s recently launched EdTech product, Evolve Learning, which offers targeted and topical bite-sized courses to NHS managers across a range of key skills such as operational, motivational, data, digital, and people.”

She believes that focusing such development on managers alone could save the NHS more than £200million just by improving staff productivity and wellbeing, without even considering the additional costs of correcting mistakes.

“If the government and the NHS are serious about sustainably improving productivity, then learning and development – and a much wider acknowledgement of what affects productivity – must be prioritised,” she concludes.

You can read the full article here.

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