Looking out on the London skyline from the sixth floor of IQVIA’s London headquarters, a sell-out crowd eagerly waited to hear what new chief executive of new NHSX had to say for himself. This was, of course, the scene of yet another very popular Cambridge Healthcare Network event on Wednesday (2 October) evening.
Matthew Gould, NHSX chief executive, made it clear from the outset that he doesn’t have a health background, which might explain the ‘start-up-esque’ jumper, but has spent his first three months visiting hospitals, GP practices and other parts of the NHS. However, his first experience and understanding of the health system came when his wife was receiving cancer treatment. He noted how his wife had to “create her own interoperability” in order to share her records between the four doctors caring for her. These experiences have helped him shape his new role.
Matthew gave a nod to his predecessors who had an incredibly difficult job of working across multiple organisations. The creation of NHSX marks a real opportunity to make progress, which those before him hadn’t had.
In typical central body style, Matthew said there were a lot of plans in place, but what was really needed was purpose. He set out NHSX’s five missions: relieve the burden on clinics and staff; put data in the hands of patients; ensure patient data is accessible across the whole health system; improve safety; and increase productivity.
As it’s Friday we thought we’d deliver seven takeaways from what we heard at the event (and at the HETT Show the day before):
Matthew concluded that if they can find a way to put technology at the centre of patient care and scaling innovation, it will have been worthwhile. However, NHSX can’t achieve do it alone and need the support of everyone – central bodies, frontline staff and patients.
Matthew was joined on stage by Roland Sinker, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who cycled through the rafts of innovation and digital transformation they have achieved.