The standout event in BIVDA’s calendar this week was the ICS workshop, held on Wednesday at the Academy of Medical Sciences. The event was an opportunity for BIVDA members to better understand the detailed changes proposed by the statutory unveiling of ICSs from July onwards and their effect on the landscape of the NHS.
Members were treated to three excellent talks from David Thorne, Director of NHS Insights at Mtech Access Ltd.; Patrick McGinley, Head of Costing and Service Line Reporting at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust; and James Curtis, Divisional Director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The talks covered a myriad of subjects, ranging from the implementation of ICSs and their stated aims to the financial implications of the new changes. All three speakers graciously answered all members’ questions, which revealed important information regarding how the changes will potentially affect the diagnostics industry.
The presentations, particularly David Thorne’s, emphasised the focus on collaboration between ICSs now that competition within the NHS has been outlawed. This new approach aims to provide a more familial structure which is conducive to cooperation, while allowing the unique needs of each region to be met more adequately. The pandemic, for all its anguish and sacrifice, truly underlined how successful the NHS could be by working together.
From a financial perspective, the new rules move the NHS away from a payment by results model, which often failed to give due consideration to the impacts of costing. Moreover, in another innovative move, hospitals will be given a financial incentive to treat patients off-site in an attempt to make care more local in scope and prevent hospitals from becoming needlessly congested at a time when space and beds are so valuable.
It is important to emphasise that these are merely interpretations of the rule changes at face value. We will see the results and implications of these alterations in the fullness of time and BIVDA remains poised to work with members to understand the impact of these changes for diagnostic companies.