In response to Simon Stevens’ presentation to the NHS Confederation Annual Conference today, Shane Tickell, CEO, IMS MAXIMS said,
“Simon Stevens tackled the issue of funding head on today. His emphasis on the NHS ‘resetting’ its finances in 2016 and 2017, and warnings of a U shaped funding settlement up to 2020, will no doubt unsettle many service providers. Particularly as the pressure to meet day-to-day demands on services remains relentlessly high. Technology was cited by both Simon Stevens and Jeremy Hunt as having a fundamental role to play in tackling these challenges, and delivering the longer term transformation of the NHS. Yet, digital technology is sometimes seen by the NHS as a high-cost, high-risk investment. It can entail costly license fees, lengthy and inflexible contracts and high support costs.
I’m proposing something completely different – off-balance sheet investment in digital that means service providers can use technology to deliver better, safer patient care, whilst also addressing their run rates. This should make a significant difference, particularly as we are yet to enter the bottom of the U shaped funding settlement.
We can offer the NHS our support and implementation services for the deployment of our products on innovative, pay as you use terms. We can help share the investment cost (and risk) of the deployment, migration and change period – typically one to two years – and look to defer charges to later years of the contract, allowing time for benefits to be created and realised. This will allow our customers to invest their revenue funding into other elements of a transformational technology initiative, such as staff costs and transitioning from the incumbent IT system. And by choosing an open source EPR product, the NHS can also avoid spending money on any license fees – customers that choose to use our open source EPR have access to £45 million of investment in software, free of charge.
It’s clear that for the NHS to deliver the Five Year Forward View in the current financial environment, technology needs to be a core focus. And I believe this is the best way for the NHS to be able to modernise, whilst meeting the continued financial demands on services.”