The NHS Elective Recovery Fund: How digital tools are helping to clear the NHS backlog

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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already large backlog facing the NHS, with an estimated six million people still awaiting hospital treatments. 

In February 2022, the NHS announced its Elective Recovery Plan,  which outlines the NHS’s plan to address this significant backlog. Part of the NHS Elective Recovery plan involves improving capacity for diagnosis and treatment. However there also is a significant focus on using technology to make services more efficient and impactful. Digital tools, such as apps, will play a notable role in making this happen. For example, by finding ways to make doctor-patient communication easier, patients will gain more control over managing their health, while improving the efficiency of clinical care. 

The NHS Elective Recovery Tech Fund

The NHS Elective Recovery Tech Fund was created to help organisations within the NHS to build and implement new methods and models of care through the use of new digital technologies. The main focus of the fund is to help those patients who are to have surgery as well as those who require specialist advice. The main purpose of the fund is to “improve patients’ experience and health outcomes across planned care, or elective, pathways,” (NHSX). 

The projects that the fund will support, according to the NHSX website will:

  • Increase the support that patients receive at home before their surgeries, which will helps prepare them and also improves their health outcomes
  • Help to support patients receiving early discharge and will also support their home rehab 
  • Help to increase the use of tools that patients can use that will in turn provide them with more personalised care in the future, beyond their surgeries 
  • Help to implement digital solutions to make the process around elective admin more efficient and streamlined 

How digital products like ours are assisting in elective recovery

At Ampersand Health, our My IBD Care and My Arthritis apps can do just that. These apps are digital tools that enable remote monitoring for clinicians within the NHS, allowing them to keep track of how their patients are doing in between appointments. It also allows patients to track their symptoms, have constant access to digital therapeutics (evidence-based, expert-led online courses) and receive messages from their clinicians if their hospital is signed up to the app. 

Digital technologies such as ours provide patients at home with support, as they have constant access to a tool that has been specifically designed to help support them in their condition journey. These technologies also help to improve communication for patients between them and their clinician, which allows patients to feel more in control of their health and also helps their clinician see them when they need it the most. Lastly, digital products like ours create better care pathways that help the NHS gain more time to focus on patients who are unwell, and save money for both the NHS and the patient, as the patient can avoid unnecessary travel and other appointment-related costs. 

To learn more about our digital products role in the NHS, reach out to us via email at info@ampersandhealth.co.uk. Or read more about how we work with clinicians in the NHS. 

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