11 Jan 2023

‘Crisis mode’ within NHS seen as greatest challenge for digital health and care progress in 2023

At the end of 2022, techUK surveyed members working in the health and social care sectors to find out what the tech industry thought about the year just gone, and what is to come in 2023.

We found that 45% of respondents thought that the ongoing ‘crisis mode’ within the NHS and social care presented the greatest challenge for the digital health and care industry in 2023.

The elective care backlog, staff shortages, the demands of an ageing population, wider funding pressures and many other factors have contributed to the immense difficulties the NHS and social care currently face. The current situation often makes it harder to implement tech solutions that would ultimately help to ease pressure on frontline staff and create more efficient systems.

After the current ‘crisis mode’, the three greatest challenges identified were:

  • insufficient funding for digital transformation (20%)
  • a culture that is resistant to digital transformation (17%)
  • a lack of awareness of the potential capabilities of digital technologies (11%).

In our report, Right from the Start, published in July 2022, we highlighted several case studies from members demonstrating the positive outcomes for staff, patients, and the wider system, when digital technologies are utilised to their full potential.

In this survey, we also asked members to reflect on the steps taken by government in 2022, a year which saw the biggest structural reforms to the NHS and social care since 2012.

When asked which action would have the greatest positive impact on digital transformation in health and care, the two most popular answers were the intention to join up health and care, including commitments made on shared care records for all citizens by 2024 (27%) and the placing of ICSs on statutory footing (24%).

These were closely followed by the allocation of an extra £1bn next year to Adult Social Care and an increase to the NHS budget of £3.3bn (21%).

Finally, when asked how much progress they felt had been made on digitising the UK’s health and care system in 2022, members were divided. While over 50% thought a fair amount of progress had been made, 37% thought 2022 had seen only minimal progress. In light of this division, the outcome of the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s recent enquiry into government progress on digitising the NHS will be seminal, and we welcomed the opportunity to contribute to this inquiry.

Following these results, techUK’s Health & Social Care Programme will be building on engagement with Integrated Care Systems and continue to showcase the potential of digital transformation in 2023. We look forward to working with our partners across the NHS, Department for Health and Social Care and devolved nations to help drive forward the benefits of digital technology. To find out more you can view our 2023 strategy here, or get in touch with a member of the team below.  

Alex Lawrence

Alex Lawrence

Head of Health and Social Care, techUK

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Programme Manager, Health and Social Care, techUK

Clara Hewitt

Clara Hewitt

Programme Manager, Health and Social Care, techUK

Tracy Modha

Team Assistant - Markets, techUK