Spring Budget: Boost for NHS, but political ‘short-termism’ impacting future business growth

07 March 2024

Joel Segal, head of business transformation at RSM UK, reacts to the chancellor’s decision to invest in upgrading the digital capability in the NHS in yesterday’s Spring Budget: ‘This move has the potential to revolutionise healthcare delivery, making the NHS the largest digitally integrated healthcare system globally. Such integration could significantly improve data analysis, streamline trend identification, and even enhance diagnostic capabilities while expanding preventative healthcare services.

‘We need to envision a digitally integrated healthcare system that effectively leverages the collaboration between health workers and technology to drive down costs and improve patient services. However, the enormity of this challenge should be recognised. Rather than a big bang approach, pilots and proof of concepts at the local level will need to be deployed in clear and incremental steps. This approach will deliver tangible value to the British public sooner and drive much needed efficiencies and effectiveness in healthcare services. 

‘The chancellor’s NHS measures clearly recognise the importance of digital investment to boost productivity and enhance the patient experience. However, there was less support announced for businesses to take the same steps. 

‘Like businesses and organisations, such as the NHS, the chancellor might consider taking a longer-term view on what strategies and policies will be needed to support these organisations in the future and work back from there. This ‘future-back’ approach would look across the whole system from education to skills needed, through to how technology and data could improve the productivity gap to give the UK a competitive edge. A longer term, sustainable investment plan will help organisations make decisions now that will support growth and help shape their future as they navigate the digital age.