Edition Overview

Healthcare has always been driven by innovation, by clinical and scientific discovery and the ambition always to do more to preserve and enhance life. As the pace of technological advance accelerates and data proliferates, the potential for the digital revolution to transform health and care is real, and immediate. Harnessing that potential, and aligning it with both appetite for innovation and the creation of collaborative healthcare systems is the work ahead for leaders in the sector seeking to maximise these huge opportunities.

System change and the need for greater levels of integration and partnership across health economies has been a central theme in much of our recent work at Saxton Bampfylde. Technology is at the heart of collaborative integration, both supporting different ways of working and enabling information to be shared in ways that become transformative. It promises considerable change, but also requires a significant shift in thinking across the sector, as well as a substantial investment in infrastructure, upskilling for colleagues, and changing approaches to leadership. It is driving cultural as well as operational change and, whilst there remains some scepticism, there is a vanguard across UK healthcare embracing digital technology as the future and carving new paths for their organisations, leaders, colleagues and patients as a result.

Dame Jackie Daniel is a role model, a leader for whom innovation and partnership working is business as usual, so our interview with her is well-timed. As Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dame Jackie’s commitment to a culture of innovation that empowers colleagues, improves patient care, and brings organisations together is already having a huge impact on the Trust (recently re-rated Outstanding by the CQC) and the health economy. The necessity of a digital approach and the opportunity presented by technology is central to all activity, and Jackie talks compellingly about how this must be considered commercially for success in the future.

The abundance of data produced by a whole population health service in the UK, meanwhile, gives us a distinctive opportunity to improve greatly the integration of care services and provide patients with greater autonomy and control over their own health and care. We talk to another inspiring leader, Samantha Jones, at the start of her leadership of Centene UK. Her ambitions for the organisation, and account of how her experience has motivated her to champion and drive forward greater integration across health and care services in the UK, are at the heart of what positive change could look like.

And reflecting on the appetite and need for innovation and collaboration from our feature interviewees, Cassandra Woolgar from our Leadership Services team considers the implications of these changes for healthcare leaders.

We hope you find this edition of Canvas thought-provoking and motivating, and look forward to hearing your reflections on it.


Stephen Bampfylde

Back to Health - 2019