There is a tension at the structural center of healthcare today. As challenges rise, more pressure is exerted on hospitals; bricks and mortar environments that were not designed to manage all of healthcare’s needs in the 21st century.
Fast forward to 2021 and hospitals are currently delivering care with significantly limited resources and staff are under pressure to treat more patients with chronic diseases. According to NHS figures, hospital waiting list numbers have doubled in England since last year and are expected to continue to rise, due to aged equipment, workforce shortages and COVID-19 pressures. The time has clearly come for innovative new models of care, starting with out-of-hospital solutions; a need that has also been identified in the NHS Long Term Plan and the Report of the Independent Review of Diagnostic Services for NHS England as conducted by Professor Sir Mike Richards, both of which can be viewed as a call to action for industry and the NHS to work together. This case for more care provision to be placed outside of a hospital setting is, of course, not a new one. Yet it’s a cry that has gained new urgency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health crisis that has accelerated change in all sectors, including healthcare. And yet, where to start?
A new strategic partnership between Philips and an independent healthcare provider, a focus on diagnostics innovation represents the fast start opportunity to structurally embed out of hospital care and enable a significant leap forward in patient-centric, future forward care.
In the feature, Innovating in diagnostics with new models of out of hospital care, former NHS Director and Director of Independent Sector & Community Diagnostics at Philips, Jeevan Gunaratnam, explains:
• Why diagnostic is central to efficiency of care
• How COVID-19 brought a new urgency to ongoing transformation
• How Philips is partnering with healthcare providers to pioneer Community Diagnostic Centers (CDC) across the UK
The planned roll out is in line with the NHS Long Term Plan to introduce a new model of care focused on providing patients greater options, better support, and joined-up care at the right time in an optimal care setting.
Jeevan Gunaratnam, Director of Independent Sector & Community Diagnostics at Philips explains:
“The benefit of growing imaging services beyond the hospital is momentous. They have the potential to ease staff burdens, improve patient outcomes, with more diagnostic care services closer to where the patient resides. It will allow for skills to be spread more evenly across large geographical spaces, and potentially breathe new life into communities in duress. Community Diagnostic Centers can’t happen soon enough. Healthcare should, after all, be accessible to everyone.