Local surgical hubs, new technology to speed up diagnosis, and innovative ways of working, will help the NHS to tackle…

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Local surgical hubs, new technology to speed up diagnosis, and innovative ways of working, will help the NHS to tackle growing waiting lists and treat around 30% more patients who need elective care by 2023 to 2024.

Backed by a new £36bn investment in health and social care over the next three years, ‘doing things differently’ and embracing innovation will be the driving force to get the NHS back on track.

The funding will see the NHS deliver an extra nine million checks, scans, and operations for patients across the country, but it’s not enough to simply plug the elective gaps. The NHS will push forward with faster and more streamlined methods of treatments.

Surgical hubs already being piloted in a number of locations are helping fast-track the number of planned operations, including cataract removal, hysterectomies and hip and knee replacements, and will be expanded across the country. Located on existing hospital sites, surgical hubs bring together the skills and resource under one roof while limiting infection risk and providing a COVID-secure environment, with more planned to open in the coming year.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “This global pandemic has presented enormous challenges for the NHS and led to a growing backlog – we cannot go on with business as usual.

“We are going to harness the latest technology and innovative new ways of working such as surgical hubs to deliver the millions more appointments, treatments and surgeries that are needed over the coming months and years to tackle waiting lists.”

GP surgeries are also using artificial intelligence to help prioritise patients most in need and identify the right level of care and support needed for patients on waiting lists.

Using the latest technology and locally led innovation will increase efficiencies, make every penny count and increase activity levels to tackle rising backlogs.

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