While UK health is not particularly an area within the remit of the EU, the impact of the UK’s vote to go it alone could have major implications for health and social care, not least because it will usher in a period of significant economic and political uncertainty at a time when the health and care system is facing huge operational and financial pressures.
The impact on services of leaving the EU is yet to properly unfold but it’s clear that a number of important strategic issues will need to be resolved: staffing, access to treatment (both at home and abroad), healthcare services, regulation, and funding and finance.
It’s a known fact that the NHS seeks to bring about efficiency savings of £22 billion over the next few years. These savings will be driven by the transition to new primary and long-term care based managed care models.
The lack of trained manpower will pose severe challenges to this transition, but with Brexit champions now backtracking away from the commitment to reinvest that most ephemeral of figures – £350m a week – into healthcare services, the NHS will continue to remain as vulnerable as ever.
Indeed, the Economic Intelligence Unit predicts that by 2020, the UK NHS will spend £135 less per head if the UK leaves the EU. With rising healthcare costs, this will most certainly result in lower quality of care provision.
So what can this mean? One thing’s for sure in these uncertain post Brexit times: healthcare operators will be looking for more value from service providers than ever before. And that’s where the benefits of outsourcing things like medical transcription services can score.
By outsourcing, you have given yourself more of that most precious of commodities: time. You’re now free do what you want, focus on core activities to improve productivity; safe in the knowledge that experts are working hard to deliver a better product.
Most outsourced businesses will have developed easy-to-use beneficial platforms that go a long way to eliminating resource planning, holiday and sickness contingencies and recruitment, helping to create a better life for all involved. This approach operates at its optimum when it integrates seamlessly into an operation – working in a compliant and consistent nature, quietly purring along.
Cost is obviously a driver, and always a factor, but you should also consider the holistic advantages provided by outsourcing – or the intangibles, less perceptible benefits. If any new solution cuts management, HR, recruitment, hardware, furniture, and IT costs, then these have to be considered in any overall evaluation or ROI analysis of the outsourcing route.
So, regardless of whatever path the NHS takes in the future, value for money, quality and added value in the form of outsourced services will never be too far away.
By Helen Healiss, managing director of Accuro, which is accredited to ISO 27001