Colin Pye

Colin Pye

Director Consulting Expert – Health & Care Advisory

It is clear that our health and care industry is in urgent need of transforming the way it delivers services, as well as the way it measures outcomes. Sustainability and capacity management have long been areas of concern, and whilst the implementation of some digital solutions such as remote consultation technologies showed a willingness for the sector to embrace new approaches to better support citizens, it was COVID-19 that provided a much needed catalyst to accelerate change.

The pandemic was a major disruptive event that exacerbated existing tensions between planned and unplanned care, with precious resources being moved away from planned care to support the urgent demands of unplanned care. Now, unrelenting pressure persists on a committed workforce, and whilst citizen empathy remains, frustrations, expectations and demands for services consistently increase.

Our population’s behaviours and experiences of other modernised services such as retail, banking and local government, demonstrates an ability for all ages to access modernised services such as self-service portals and apps on mobile devices, with suitable, proven technical support provided. With these sectors providing enhanced, personalised digital services that improve citizen experiences as well as business outcomes, understandably there is a question as to why the health and care sector remains behind in the transformation journey.  

So, with the primary goal of our health and care sector being to support a healthier population, immediate action is therefore required to address the needs of citizens, and simultaneously support the health and wellbeing challenges of employees who work tirelessly to deliver quality experiences. 


New models of health and care delivery - a more agile experience

Staffing pressures, including staff shortages and the consistent need to work in emergency circumstances, have resulted in a need to review existing staffing levels and skills in support of new models of care with additional capacity and improved working experiences that better enable employees. This alternative thinking is necessary across the whole health and care spectrum, and includes paid and unpaid carers in a ‘whole system’ approach. 

Nurse talking to patients

This whole system review must consider demographic changes, advances in medical treatments, the need to react to emergency situations, and more innovative use of finances to deliver transformed, citizen- and employee-centric services. Empowering citizens in these new models of care will not only deliver them the quality support they deserve, but also relieves the pressure on beleaguered and understaffed health and care workers, whilst attracting new candidates to the redesigned work experience. 

It is therefore important to review existing systems in their entirety to reimagine and design the ‘art of the possible’, and then establish an effective path towards more agile health and care experiences. The main objective is to better manage those people who do not require face-to-face or hands on support, thereby freeing up capacity for those who do.

To achieve this, it is essential to address these features of the patient journey (whether dealing with acute conditions that may need elective interventions, or chronic conditions that need lifetime interventions):

  • Care pathways - Consideration of clinical guidelines and national screening programmes. Integration can play a big part to enable better signposting and access to information via self-service portals and digital consultations.
  • Patient flow - Addressing how those needing face-to-face support can be effectively and efficiently managed and served using all available health and care assets to deliver the required quality outcome, whether at home or in hospital.
  • Person-centric flow – Integrating both informal and formal care, signposting, self-management, etc., across the whole system to address individual health and care needs as well as ultimately improving the overall wellbeing of the population.


Public-private-academic partnerships – impactful digitalisation, innovation and research

Elderly patient talks to doctor on video call on laptop

Simply adding new technologies to old ways of working however, usually leads to an increase in cost and a belief that nothing has really changed. That’s why we take an ‘insights-driven, outcomes-based’ approach to digitally transforming our clients’ ways of working. This means first understanding the problems our clients face and understanding the outcomes they need to achieve, and then applying the correct technology in an incremental way that takes account of existing investment in legacy systems.

To effectively transform health and care services to benefit citizens and staff, we first need to gain a full understanding of what is happening within the system. Only with a complete understanding of the existing model can we then apply digital transformation to address blockages and bottlenecks; but technology alone is not the answer to the challenges faced by the health and care sector.

Digital transformation must be coupled with people and process transformation if it is to succeed. Together, new technological advances, innovations and research developments are the fundamental building blocks that will enable the digitalisation of health and care. These areas must consider and combine the needs of citizens, the strengths of academia and the ‘art of the possible’ from the private sector to redesign a delivery model that effectively supports citizens needing health and care services, whilst empowering the workforce at the heart of delivering them.


CGI Health and Care Advisory – a trusted transformation partner

As a trusted advisor to the health and care sector, we put people first. We prioritise user experiences when engaging with services, and work to understand people’s needs to create meaningful change. We empower health and care professionals with intelligent, sustainable and healthy ways of working, and the ability to provide citizens with convenient, efficient access to care and support.

Whilst those engaged with the services are empowered by quality digital health and care experiences, we simultaneously support health and care organisations to make complex, cost-effective decisions behind the scenes.

If you want to know more about our Health and Care Advisory practice and how we can support your digital transformation journey, please explore our page. Or please reach out to me directly if you are looking for more specific information about our service offerings and how we can help your organisation. 

About this author

Colin Pye

Colin Pye

Director Consulting Expert – Health & Care Advisory

Colin has over 30 years’ experience working for and with the NHS and local government at regional and national levels. He is passionate about health and care and uses his vast experience to address how transformed services can benefit patients, citizens and professionals alike.