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Matt Hancock MP, Health and Social Care Secretary

The NHS in the South East of England is in line for a tech-funding boost of up to £62.4 million, new Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today (Friday), as he unveiled his vision to make the NHS the world’s most advanced healthcare system.

In his first major speech since taking post last week, the Health and Social Care Secretary announced the funding as part of a half a billion pound national package, available immediately to the NHS, to rollout innovative tech aimed at improving efficiency, enhancing patient safety and helping more patients access health services at home.

Under initial plans for the funding, ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will receive up to £12.9million to spend over a 3 year period. However, this figure is currently indicative and reliant on evidence and plans on how each local system will spend the money, and dependent on bids being approved based on these criteria.

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Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

“Because we are one NHS, our health system is uniquely placed to become the most advanced health system in the world – one where technology addresses the user need – making care better for patients, but just as importantly making life easier for staff.

“For too long, decisions on health and care have seemed to involve a trade-off – improving patient outcomes at the expense of placing ever more pressure on staff, while reducing the demands on staff has been seen to have an impact on patient care.

“Technology and data innovation offers an opportunity to move past this binary approach.”

The Health and Social Care Secretary will point to existing technological innovations to demonstrate the many benefits that embed use of technology can bring – for example Scan4Safety where barcode tracking in hospitals is enabling staff to track all patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and the effectiveness of equipment.

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The funding will be formally allocated once bids from local ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ are submitted and approved.

As part of the speech, Matt Hancock also outlined his 3 early priorities as Health and Social Care Secretary: technology, the health and care workforce and prevention.

Setting out his plans on the vital NHS workforce, Matt Hancock added:

“The nation’s health is determined by the health of the health and care workforce. So it is heart-breaking to see how undervalued you often feel.

“The sense of duty and public service that motivates you to go into health and care is one of the things that make the NHS the institution it is.

“I am determined that the commitment you show to your patients is matched by the commitment we show to you.

“So I have a clear message: I value you. I admire you. I will fight for you and I will champion you.”

The Government will launch a consultation exercise on workforce issues shortly, looking at issues including bullying and harassment and diversity.

The Health and Social Care Secretary will also convene a panel of a panel of clinical and professional advisers, from a cross-section of the NHS and social care workforce, to advise on issues affecting staff.

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