Physio involvement is vital to the NHS’s digital journey

Involving clinicians and patients is vital to developing IT to support better health services.


This was the message from digital experts at the King’s Fund digital health and care congress, held in London on 6 July.

Commenting after the event the CSP’s head of practice Steve Tolan said: ‘The development of technology in the NHS is a journey, and we’re only in the early stages.

‘It’s important for physiotherapy staff to be involved throughout so we get the longer-term outcomes which will benefit patients.’

Among the experts at the congress was Phil Koczan, chief clinical information officer for UCLPartners, an academic health science partnership. In his experience clinician involvement happened largely at a local level. This allowed a ‘trusted relationship’ to develop and removed many of the barriers to progress.

Dr Koczan said that IT developments were not always perfect, but could be a step on a journey to improvement.

Mr Tolan agreed, and told Frontline: ‘It may not be as good as we would like initially, but patience is needed to ensure the best eventual outcome.’

Paul Radin, a volunteer with MindTech healthcare technology cooperative, said: ‘Good leadership requires gaining points of view other than your own. What can be more important than getting the points of view of patients who are going to be using services?’


Beverley Bryant: We may yet have a bonfire of the faxes

Meanwhile, Beverley Bryant, the director of digital transformation for the NHS, ended her keynote speech on a positive note.

‘It just feels like there is a real strength and weight of collaboration and expectation around what we’re going to deliver in technology for health and care,’ she said.

‘We may yet have a bonfire of the faxes.’

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