There needs to be a 'revolution' in mobile working for the district nursing workforce, according to a panel of leading health technology proponents.
The panel discussed the issues surrounding the introduction of technologies such as mobile working at an event on 22 April, in London. The panel was chaired by Roy Lilley, a health policy commentator, and included Julia Clarke, chief executive of Bristol Community Health CIC, Dr Simon Wallace, former GP and an independent consultant in healthcare technology, and Gareth Tolerton, chief technology officer at TotalMobile.
The panel discussed a variety of subjects, with a particular emphasis on how reshaping the NHS to embrace more technology could be a solution to the service's problems. Mobile working was a focus of the discussion, and it was suggested that as the district nurse workforce decreases, a mobile working revolution was needed to increase the efficiency to cope with demand.
Ms Clarke said: 'In five years, I want to see the use of mobile working as the standard practice. If we can achieve this, we can focus our attention on analytics to tackle larger public health problems.'
Other topics that were discussed included the need for greater IT for NHS workers as the health service transitions to a paperless system in 2020, possible ways to integrate health and social care records, and the extent to which patients should be able to access their electronic records. Members of the audience also questioned why it has taken so long for the systems to be implemented, as the technology has been available since 2010.
Dr Wallace said: 'There have been a number of high profile failures with technology in the NHS such as Connect for Health. This has made many people reluctant to support and fund initiatives relating to technology.'