This site is intended for health professionals only

No more money to boost NHS digital competence, says Government

No more money to boost NHS digital competence, says Government

Ministers have rejected calls to offer higher salaries to boost the NHS’s digital workforce, despite MP warnings this is a ‘barrier’ to digital transformation.

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee had urged for more money to be offered to ensure the health service is able to attract workers and compete with the private sector.

But the Government made clear that the ‘inflexible’ NHS Agenda for Change pay structure was a real issue in terms of offering more cash.

A report from the health committee underlined there is a shortage of skilled digital professionals impacting upon the digital transformation of the NHS but the Government’s response rejected the recommendation.

Overall the Committee’s recommendations have been given the green light, in terms of rolling out a nationwide standards framework for all ICSs (Integrated Care Systems).

The move is designed to improve data sharing across the service’s systems.

A new version of the NHS App has been put forward by the Government, which has been supported by the Committee.

But ministers rejected the recommendation for an accreditation scheme for third-party healthcare apps to identify those verified by the NHS.

Steve Brine MP, chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, said: ‘We are concerned that the Government has rejected our call to help the NHS as it battles to recruit and retain the specialist digital workforce needed now. Ministers blame an “inflexible” pay structure, yet it is in their hands to change it and we would argue is rather self-defeating to leave things as they are in what is an extremely competitive, and global, workforce.

‘Increased digital transformation of NHS services could help tackle backlogs and what is needed is the freedom to recruit and keep the outstanding talent who can bring this about through higher pay and bonuses.

‘In responding to our report, the Government appears to have also missed an opportunity to introduce an accreditation scheme to verify third-party healthcare apps which would have empowered people to use safe and trusted apps to prevent ill-health. We will be returning to all these issues.’

In October last year the new role of Digital and Transformation Lead (DTL) was added to the ARRS funded roles that can be hired by PCNs.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Michael Mullineux 7 September, 2023 12:44 pm

Digital tranformation my ar… Might be a good idea to sort out the current software systems such as EMIS before moving further into the ether? How can a major provider get away with the crappy offering they currently inflict on us? Yet another major outage this week to add to the long list of previous similar andf the day to day frustrations of pathetically slow system performance with frequent daily reboots becoming the norm. Why does such an awful provider face no sanction or financial penalty for the hours of system failure we all have to put up with?

David Church 8 September, 2023 12:08 pm

Dear Michael, I have no conflicts of interest, other than being a user of both, but the Clinical Computer system you deplore is much better than it used to be, and much safer than the other major current offering in Wales, which cannot even correctly identify drugs and allergies, and mandatorily messes up daily issue prescriptions.
Of course, it does not help any of the software providers that NHS insists on some things being done in certain ways, and using a number of other linked systems with major flaws within them and how they communicate.

Most urgently, though, there would be plenty of money for NHS digital to be streamlined and flourish if we kept it in-house and standardised and developed it, and if Government had not been so keen to give away an absurd amount of money to data-spy tech firm Palantir to allow them to take over control of all NHS data-flows.