The first ever HETT North event took place earlier this month in Manchester and provided and insightful, inspirational day for digital health leaders across the country. The event highlighted the latest advancements in the digital healthcare space and was filled with a plethora of impactful discussions.  

The final keynote session of the day focused on ‘Assessing the Landscape of Digital Health Transformation – Past, Present & Future’ and was joined by: 

  • Sam Shah, Chair, HETT Steering Committee

  • Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Head of Blended Learning & Digital Learning & Development Lead, Health Education England

  • Tremaine Richard-Noel, Head of Emerging Technology, Northampton General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO, ORCHA

  • Clive Flashman, CDO, Patient Safety Learning 

Read the overview of the key points from the discussion or listen to the full session below: 

What are the underlying problems in the health system that we need to solve to drive digital transformation? 

The panel discussed a range of the underlying issues in the healthcare system that are currently impacting digital transformation in the NHS. The key points include: 

  • Lack of funding for proper deployment of solutions – there is often funding within the NHS to purchase digital solutions, however there often isn’t the budget for proper deployment, change management and support.   

  • Single point solutions – traditionally the NHS have purchased solutions for a specific requirement or need, when in reality we should consider the whole pathway to understand the problem and then look to the market for a range of solutions so that we have choice depending on the needs of the patient. 

  • Lack of focus on patient training – the patient needs the knowledge and the skills to utilise the solution at end point to ensure its effective. 

  • Disjointed patient journey – where digital transformation has moved at different paces across the sector, a patients journey of care can often be disjointed.  DPP-HETT_North_23-494-small

Is the policy that surrounds digital transformation for integrated care systems is fit for purpose? 

The panel moved on to discuss some of the policy issues around ICS’s and ICB’s, with two key points to take away: 

  • Reimbursement around population health management: We can try and commission patient care in an integrated way, however we need to sort out how organisations are reimbursed and paid to help people get treatment. 
  • Lack of integration between health and social care: health and social care is often discussed as two separate points, however for a fully integrated system that drives digital transformation, the two should be joined together.  

“Until we start thinking about the whole person, we are not going anywhere. We will continue to see social care as the poorer relative of the lot.” Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, Head of Blended Learning & Digital Learning & Development Lead, Health Education England 

“Ultimately social care is the reason why a third of all the beds in the NHS beds are filled with people medically fit to be discharged. If we don't tackle social care, then we will never resolve the problem in the NHS.” – Clive Flashman, CDO, Patient Safety Learning 


We have had 75 years of the NHS so far, but what are the key opportunities around digital transformation going forward into the next 75 years? 

The scale at which we are doing things is a key driver for digital transformation. Trusts coming together to purchase digital health solutions at the same time will allow for lower costs and a better understanding of the solutions.  

“The more we do at scale, the easier it will become” Tremaine Richard-Noel, Head of Emerging Technology, Northampton General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Another key opportunity discussed by the panel is getting a digital workforce ready to drive change.  Not only do future clinical teams need to be trained from a digital perspective, but the conditions need to be created in order for them to thrive and drive innovation. Attention also needs to be paid to the current NHS workforce to give them the capabilities, motivation and opportunities to make digital adoption happen.  

Liz Ashall-Payne also discussed how the NHS needs to be transparent with how we reimburse the supplier to ensure the NHS can continue to benefit from their innovations. 

“We’ve got a window of opportunity until those suppliers leave this country and move into easier to access markets and what they take with them is the opportunity for innovation to be used by us and our patients and the benefits they bring”Liz Ashall-Payne, CEO, ORCHA 

Join the conversation, Register for HETT North, 28th February

Be part of the next discussion impactful discussion around digital health by registering for HETT North in February. On 28th February 2024, thousands of delegates will join us at HETT North at Manchester Central Convention Complex to enjoy a day full of free CPD accredited educational sessions, interactive activities, and networking opportunities with 100+ innovative suppliers and 100+ expert speakers. 

Register for HETT North



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