Minister says 2018 could be ‘another 1948’ for the NHS

NHS IT
“I firmly believe we are putting in place a new model of healthcare as bold and innovative as a previous generation did”
Author: 
Valerie Janczewski

Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman sees a paperless, wi-fi-enabled health service as a second version of the service’s innovative foundation

[Westminster, UK] The 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service in 2018 should be used as an inspiration to spur innovation and better use of technology.

That’s the suggestion, at least, from George Freeman, the Minister for Life Sciences, who says the upcoming milestone could be a great reminder of the original spirit of the NHS: “I believe we have the chance to be as bold and innovative again by embracing the new age of medical science and the transformative effect this can have for patients.”

Freeman, who made his suggestion on the Department of Health website last week, also sees another anniversary, the fifth for the government’s ambitious ‘Life Sciences’ strategy, as equally deserving of recognition, arguing that, “We set out our goal to make the UK the world leader in this space. With more than £3.5bn of investment and around 11,000 jobs created in the sector since the launch of the strategy, so much has been achieved.”

In terms of the wider health system, the politician reminds us that, “Making sure the NHS is always leading the world in adopting innovations is one of my main priorities, especially when it comes to adopting new technology across the system.”

As proof of that commitment, Freeman, the Tory MP for Mid Norfolk, says that he is convinced data and technology now act as the “oil that flows through a modern health service”.

‘Bold and innovative’

The spirit of 70 years ago, he believes, is all around us, like ongoing work to make the NHS paper-free and the decision to make wi-fi free in all NHS sites.

As a result of such moves, he says, “As we count down towards the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS, I firmly believe we are putting in place a new model of healthcare as bold and innovative as a previous generation did in 1948.”