Matt Hancock: I Care About Tech Because I Care About People

Matt Hancock delivers a healthcare technology speech at the Royal Society of Medicine

In a speech given to the Royal Society of Medicine by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, discusses the Topol review and offers thanks to Dr Eric Topol for the work he and his team has done for the NHS. The report is a thorough analysis of how technology can help the NHS, what needs to be implemented and why.

Matt Hancock claims he is passionate, not just about technology but the right technology for the NHS which can saves lives. The current focus lies in genomics, Ai and robotics. However, the Topol review claims that the NHS is around ten years behind in some areas of healthcare, but if they utilised technology, then more lives could be saved.

Matt Hancock says; “So I care about tech because I care about people. I care about our NHS staff and our NHS patients. And I care about getting this right. Because I know the consequences when we don’t.”

Mistakes in the NHS

In the speech, Matt Hancock talks about that people make mistakes around seven times a day, including medical staff. However, technology can help to prevent these mistakes and make the lives of medical staff easier. Technology can help to reduce human error thanks to the tools that enhance safety protocols.

The next steps

Matt Hancock says the following steps to reduce mistakes in the NHS is to ensure that the right leadership is in place. One of the goals is to put in place a chief information officer in every local NHS organisation. Furthermore, future leaders in the NHS will be people who understand technology and have the skills to build digital capability.

As a result, Matt Hancock is launching the Topol programme for digital healthcare fellowships. The fellowships will help NHS staff to make a practical difference to their local organisation and put them on the pathway to become future leaders in the NHS as well as being chief information officers and chief clinical information officers.

He explains; “The government is putting a record £20.5 billion a year into the NHS – the longest and largest cash settlement in its history.

It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity. To seize that opportunity and build a better, more sustainable health service for the future, we must ensure our NHS workforce have the right tech and the right tech skills.”

You can read Matt Hancock’s speech in full here.


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