NHS needs to move into 21st Century

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In a speech to delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress fringe event  in Liverpool recently, chief executive of Liverpool Community Health, Bernie Cuthel called for the NHS to better embrace technology and innovation.

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress was the largest gathering of start-up champions from around the world. It came to Liverpool and Europe for the first time this March. Keynote speakers included Sir Richard Branson, Sir Terry Leahy, Martha Lane Fox, and Lord Heseltine.

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH) hosted its own event, one of over 80 taking place over the week. LCH targeted technology entrepreneurs on the future of innovation in healthcare.

More than 60 leaders in the field of technology both locally and nationally attended the event, meeting key decision makers in the health sector and discussing how technology and innovation can improve front line services.

Speakers included Bernie Cuthel, chief executive of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust; Caroline Rand, head of information and technology at LCH; Dr Richard Pope, consultant and expert in e-consultation and video-based tele-consultation and Carrie Goodbourn, Business Development Director of iNurse  and Advanced Health and Care, talking about the mobile patient management system iNurse and it's impact at LCH.

Mark Bostock, director of North Mersey Health Infomatics Services, also attended as a key partner and supplier of services to LCH.

During her speech Bernie Cuthel said: "Culturally we need to embrace technology, try things out and not be afraid of failure. This will require coaching so staff  understand that it is only by working together and supporting each other through the adoption of technology that it will work successfully.

"Organisations need to underwrite the risks involved in innovation to enable this to happen.  It's about breaking convention and traditional ways of doing things and being more innovative.  I want to see health services compete on the same level playing field and have the same access to technology as the commercial sector.  Our business is looking after people and like any other organisation it is about using the best available technology to provide the highest quality service."

Caroline Rand Head of information and technology at the Trust added: "This is an exciting time for health services and those working in the technology sector. LCH has ambitions to create a fully agile workforce and embrace social media to assist staff and patients.  I am impressed by the engagement of local entrepreneurs at this event and look forward to working with some of them to promote the LCH vision.  I want to use the springboard of the GEC and this event to develop new partnerships to realise benefits for patients and staff."

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