Conversation starter: David Smith 

There are real challenges to accessing the data we need to make improvements to our services. How do we overcome this? 

We agreed there are cultural and practical barriers to accessing the data we need. We would benefit from a more transparent system. 

The conversation then shifted from retrieving data to service access in general. There are many processes within the health service that could benefit from digitisation – a central way to organise data. For example, GPs need to be contacted by phone, which takes unnecessary time out of everyone’s day. There must be a better process? 

We talked about vets digitising cat health records, making the healthcare process for your pet much smoother. But for humans it is still frustrating and complex. 

Tom suggested we are “captives not customers” of the health service. We don’t have any choice. 

The group agreed that the NHS has no competition, no need to evolve to survive. For example, when the directive came for GP surgeries to have email systems, many rushed out and spent huge amounts of money on CRM systems that were designed for other sectors and not fit for purpose. 

There is a reluctance to adapt and thrive which is borne out of an aversion to risk. 

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