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    Politics

    NHS patients receive letters a few days after admission, admits Steve Barkley.

    Steve Barclay believes that technology will reduce the burden on staff and offer patients better value for money. The Minister of Health acknowledged that they are missing appointments because emails with appointment times arrive several days after consultations were due.

    In an interview with The Telegraph, Steve Barclay cites this problem as one of a number of shortcomings that could be addressed by the massive introduction of electronic booking through the NHS app. He wants all patients to be able to make appointments and transfer as easily as they could book or reschedule for Covid vaccinations. “We're working on it,” he says.

    In his former role as Treasury Secretary, responsible for providing value to taxpayers' money, Mr. Barclay has rarely held back his views on the need to improve the efficiency of the National Health Service.

    p>

    For nearly a year, he has had the opportunity to put into practice his approach as secretary of state in charge of overseeing the health service at a time when its budget accounts for more than 40 percent of day-to-day spending on public services, and many patients express frustration over the long expectations and meetings.

    He hopes that the rapidly growing use of the NHS app will cut down on missed appointments. “The app provides this gateway, when you make an appointment, you have the option to change it. When you make an appointment, it goes into your diary, you can then send a text reminder instead of getting an email a few days after the appointment.

    “And using technology allows you to shorten the waiting list, because you are not many lost appointments due to not attending like you do now.”

    'Value for money'

    While visiting a hospital in West Suffolk that is participating in the government's redevelopment program, the 51-year-old health secretary spices up his plans with references to “patient choice” and “value for money.”

    Conservatives are aware of the electoral implications of they allowed the NHS to spiral out of control without a parallel improvement in the quality of services. Reducing waiting lists is the third of the government's five stated priorities.

    Rishi promises to put in a home page

    Mr. Barclay, a former Barclays lawyer who has become a close ally of Rishi Sunak, says his approach includes using technology to identify hospitals that are most effective in addressing pent-up COVID-19 challenges and replicating their approaches in underperforming trusts. He also wants patients to be able to easily book and reschedule doctor appointments.

    “As we face the challenges of the pandemic, it is important that we build on the innovation and pace that we have experienced during Covid itself and that we do not go back to what we did before,” he says. .

    “I think technology is a key factor in helping employees reduce some of the very real workload challenges they face. In particular, the pandemic has put tremendous pressure on staff.

    “But also for patients, if we can get them to care faster, it will provide much better patient outcomes, but also usually better value for money.”

    Growing numbers with NHS app

    The redesign of the NHS app, which has registered six million users over the past year, has led to a dramatic increase in the number of appointments and re-appointments available through the digital service.

    During the pandemic, many patients could make appointments for the Covid vaccine , by simply clicking the link and then choosing a time slot that they could change closer to the time if needed.

    Mr Barclay also wants more use of private hospitals to help cut NHS waiting lists, an issue he claims has divided Labor.

    Mr Barclay, who was chief secretary of the treasury under Boris Johnson , kept tight limits on government spending and was appointed chief of staff by the then prime minister to calm the nerves of the defenders.

    Mr Barclay was originally appointed Health Secretary Mr Johnson following Sajid's resignation. Javid in July last year, after which Liz Truss fired him and reinstated him when Sunak became prime minister in October.

    “One of the first things I did when I joined the department was we brought in a number of data software engineers who were building real-time data capabilities. This allows us to see how performance changes over time much faster. And then it allows us to focus on this variation, which is a key way to solve the wait time problem,” he said.

    International Recruitment Debate

    Mr Barclay, who campaigned for a withdrawal in the 2016 Brexit referendum , has privately advocated further easing of visa restrictions for medical professionals arriving from overseas to fill gaps in the NHS. But he seems to agree with the NHS trusts, who warned just over a week ago that the current reliance on overseas workers is becoming unsustainable.

    “International recruitment is needed in the short term due to the pressing issues we are facing,” he says in the backlog due to Covid. But he adds: “There is a recognition that we need to train more domestically, not least because over time globally, the competition to attract labor will become more competitive. When I was in Japan with the G7 health leaders, all countries faced labor shortages.”

    The NHS workforce plan, due to be unveiled next month, is expected to outline proposals to increase the number of home-grown medics to avoid a looming shortage of more than half a million workers. and the expansion of vocational training and apprenticeships.”

    Mr Barclay is less interested in discussing the role that wages play in the capacity of the health service. recruit and retain physicians. He is currently at odds with the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association over the pay of nurses and junior doctors, having negotiated pay increases for more than a million other NHS workers.

    A 49% pay increase is unfair . and reasonable'

    The BMA is demanding a 35 percent pay increase to make up for what it estimates is a 26 percent real-time drop in doctors' wages since 2008. Would Mr Barclay want to be able to give doctors more than his current offer of a 5% raise to increase NHS workforce?

    “Well, I really appreciate the contribution of the doctors and I am aware of the enormous pressure, especially due to the pandemic, but also due to the aging of the population … That is why we made them a fair and reasonable offer. I don't think the 35 percent requirement – and indeed, in the course of negotiations, which has increased to 49 percent – is fair and reasonable for taxpayers.”

    Mr. Barclay suggests that while “salary important”, , the National Health Service could become a more attractive place to work as a result of technological upgrades and investment in new infrastructure.

    Labor said last week that the government would not deliver on its manifesto pledge to build 40 new hospitals in this year. a decade after Mr Barclay admitted to delays in the NHS' flagship building program.

    He is prioritizing hospitals like West Suffolk, which use significant amounts of limited-life lightweight concrete.

    p>

    Mr Barclay says the transition to a “single standard design” for new hospitals has made “the internal government process a lot smoother and faster because you don't run a program to check for separate, different designs.”

    >< p>He adds: “When you're in the Treasury, you think it can help save money.”

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