NHS turns to automation to address recruitment crisis

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Paramedics unload a patient from an ambulance after arriving at Leeds General Infirmary hospital in Leeds, northern England on January 5, 2022; official data shows one in 15 people in England were infected with the coronavirus in 2021’s final week – Copyright AFP Abduaziz MADYAROV

National Health Service (NHS) organizations in the U.K. are turning to automation technologies in response to staffing crisis, according to the company GlobalData. The information comes following other news that a leading group of U.K. lawmakers have reported that the NHS is facing its greatest workforce crisis.

Considering the significance of the workforce shortages and the necessity to consider some forms of automation is Dean Sabri, Principal Analyst for Health and Social Care at GlobalData.

Sabri tells Digital Journal that the current staffing challenges will not come as a surprise for hospital administrators: “NHS Trusts are well aware of the staffing crisis in the sector. NHS Digital vacancy data shows that in October 2019, prior to the pandemic, NHS hospitals, mental health services and community providers reported a shortage of over 100,000 full-time equivalent staff, 10 percent of which were nursing vacancies.”

He adds that while: “The current workforce crisis is nothing new to NHS leaders, however, it appears that in the last year organizations are taking a serious look at how technology can free up staff time.”

Sabri  notes that more is being considered to reverse the self-destructive aspect of Britain’s exit from the European Union whereby many overseas workers could no longer be recruited, but in the meantime something needs to happen.

The effects of such loss of workers was additionally significant for the NHS because of the difficulties of retaining workers in a context of deteriorating working conditions.

Here Sabri  observes: “The committee’s report called for the health and care visa scheme to be reformed to attract overseas workers, but organizations themselves need to employ techniques to retain more staff in the meantime.”

In terms of the types of technologies, Sabri  says: “This means investing in digital technologies, which can carry out some of the menial tasks that take clinicians away from patients including data transcription between systems and sharing medical images.”

Central to this is automation, and there are signs that this type of technology is on an upward trajectory, says Sabri: “Organizations already aware of this reality have been busy procuring products and services to make efficiencies in staff time. In the last 12 months, 22 contracts have been awarded for automation technologies, a 100 percent increase since last year.”

Automation can improve patient outcomes by supporting technological advancements, making processes more efficient and effective.

Sabri predicts that more is to follow, noting: “This is a trend set to continue as more Trusts struggle with staffing numbers and automation technologies become ever more advanced, with the next step likely to be further expansion into automated decision-making utilizing artificial intelligence.”

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Daniel Joseph

Daniel with 10+ years of experience in Writing, Content Marketing. I write posts mostly about celebrity and other entertainment related stuffs. I love sharing my knowledge with the community. Here, I bring you the latest happening around the Globe. Your support would mean a lot to me!

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