Putting the 'quality' back in to care

MD for O2 Health Nikki Flanders talks about how she’s on a mission to help put the quality back into care in the UK. 

Not a week goes by at the moment without a sad story hitting the headlines about quality of care both privately and in the NHS.

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt has recently announced plans for an ‘overhaul’ of the quality of care that patients receive. He stated “The health care system must change… we cannot merely tinker around the edges – we need a radical overhaul with high quality care and compassion in its heart.”

While we are absolutely clear that the vast majority of hard-working healthcare staff do an excellent job, it’s sad that it’s taken events such as the Stafford Hospital scandal to prompt these changes.

Of course it’s promising that action is being taken. In my view, part of that action needs to be the public and private sectors coming together to ensure that, at the core of all services, compassion and understanding the individual needs of patients is paramount.

Achieving this is tough in the context of an increasingly elderly population and financial pressures, but the quality of care can’t slip. That’s where technology can help.

At O2 Health we have been looking at ways that we can provide technologies to support people to live more independently and take control of their care. As you might know we’ve recently launched two new mobile health services, Help at Hand and Health at Home which are designed to provide support that does just that.

Although this type of mobile technology service may not work for everyone, when it is suitable, it can provide the independence and freedom that most people want – while allowing hard pushed health workers to concentrate on care for those who need higher levels of support.

I’m proud to live in a country where the quality of care that people receive is high up on the political agenda. It’s incumbent on all of us , whether public or private sector , to work together to ensure that people now, and in the future, have access to the best quality of care.

We will particularly be keeping a close eye on the social care reforms and hope that these much anticipated proposals bring positive and fast paced change.