The team exhibited in real life, in person at the HFMA conference at the London Metropole Hotel this week. The event was extremely well attended with standing room only for some of the talks given to the delegates.
Our BIVDA strategy for 2021-2024 is to widen our stakeholder network, and to understand the pressures and priorities of those individuals in charge of the money, not just at Trust level, but also ICS and NHSE/I.
We have come away with key partners identified and follow up strategy meetings planned for establishing a model for diagnosis through finance availability for the next 3 years.
Julian Kelly, CFO NHSE/I informed the Finance Directors and CFO’s that initiatives related to Early diagnosis, unblocking beds and getting patients back into the community would be funded from extra money that they have made available for this purpose – All they have to do is ask apparently!
This is where the value proposition of member offers must translate into how your customers can influence and propose the benefits through the finance function.
We will be looking at training and speakers in the new year to help members work on this.
Interestingly, there was nothing on the agenda or in the online sessions on Sustainability and Net Zero. This will be something to watch as it identifies a potential conflict within customer organisations. We will be watching this space.
Ben Kemp our new policy officer was tasked with providing members with a summary of the week’s events and his briefing is below.
Update from Ben Kemp, BIVDA Policy Officer
The 2021 HMFA conference has proved a productive exercise for BIVDA in both stakeholder engagement and information-gathering.
Under the banner of the conference’s theme, ‘Reimagining the future’, leading voices in healthcare, NHS finance and innovation have come together to tackle the central issues facing the NHS in the short and long-term, with a strong emphasis on the synergy between efficient health tech, patient-centred approaches and workforce application.
The overwhelming theme throughout the event has been the need for a more revolutionary, joined-up approach to be adopted by various actors across the NHS if the UK is going to fully benefit from the inevitable drift to digital health in the future. Speakers have consistently identified self-testing – a pertinent topic to the IVD sector following the pandemic – and the implementation of at-home care as the new primary care setting as being key to this developing approach. For instance, Dr. Rishi Das-Gupta, chief executive of the Health Innovation Network, championed care homes as the ideal starting point, where care staff trained in testing skills can act as a buffer against unnecessary visits to hospital, and the associated needless patient trauma, by harnessing real-time data.
The last 18 months have brought immense suffering and challenges, but the pandemic has accelerated the need to embrace digital in a faster fashion. As Patrick Mitchell, a director at Health Education England, noted — the technology is available and can make a significant impact; the biggest challenge is winning the hearts and minds of those within the NHS who can implement it.
Ambition and the ability to develop unabashedly bold solutions to pressing problems has also featured heavily through different panels. Those in the innovation sector have urged decision-makers to test different pathways and be unafraid of potential failure. Their mantra is that novel solutions will bring some beneficial outcomes and failure will highlight important lessons to learn for the future.
Health inequalities, particularly pertaining to deprived areas and lack of equal digital access, were frequently cited by many speakers. Notably, underlining the nuance between equity and equality and how the NHS should strive towards proactively seeking out those who are most in need of care, rather than remaining passive.
This year’s conference has certainly provided much food for thought for NHS finance leaders and those providing care. It is clear that a more radical, exciting vision of the NHS stretches out before us, if decision makers have the courage and willpower to act. To paraphrase John Cage, from a talk by the futurologist Mark Stevenson, “I don’t know why people are afraid of new ideas. I’m afraid of the old ones”.