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Workforce planning for future is important, but focus on proven medtech too

The Medical Technology Group welcomes the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published June 30th 2023. The plan acknowledges the important role that medical technology plays in the delivery of patient services, improving patient care, and building a more efficient health service, while also recognising the need to ensure that the workforce has the right skills to take advantage of these advancements.

Making reference to artificial intelligence and robotic assisted surgery, the plan sets out the objective to convene an ‘expert group to identify advanced technology that can be used most effectively in the NHS’.

Chair of the MTG, Barbara Harpham, said:

“It is reassuring to see that NHS England continues to plan for the introduction of new technologies that can make a significant impact on patient care. Putting the right workforce in place is just as important as ensuring that the skills are there to take advantage of emerging and new technology, and that it is applied as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“However, we must not lose sight of the fact that there is a vast array of medical technology that already exists and is ready to be deployed. Most of this technology is approved by NICE and has been proven to deliver better outcomes for patients and a more efficient health service: diagnosing patients quicker, giving them the best available treatment, avoiding readmissions, and supporting patient self-management.

“Ensuring this existing, proven technology is widely available, that the existing workforce understands its benefits, and that they are trained to use it properly can have an enormous impact in the short term.”

July 2023

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