The NHS has published its 2023 workforce plan, which cites a study suggesting nearly half (44%) of admin work from general practices can either be mostly or fully automated.
The workforce plan referenced a study from The Health Foundation in 2021, which analysed how to put artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to use in healthcare.
The publication likewise announced that the NHS and the UK government would ‘convene an expert group to ensure the NHS takes advantage of the opportunities that AI can offer’.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive and Navina Evans, chief workforce officer, NHS England, co-signed a letter accompanying the plan, which said: “This planned increase in training places is part of the solution, but it is not just about increasing numbers, its about working differently to maximise the benefit of new technology, therapies and treatment and its also about retaining the staff we have.”
An increased emphasis on robotics and AI forms part of a broader objective to create a more ‘ambitious, sustainable and resilient NHS, there for patients now and for future generations’.
Earlier this year, the NHS began trialling AI to try and reduce the number of missed hospital appointments.
The overarching structure of the plan focused on three key areas: training, reform and retention.
A major part of the ‘reform’ objective will be to use to technology to: ensure staff have the right skills to take advantage of new technology that frees up clinicians’ time to care; to increase flexibility in deployment; and to provides the care patients need ‘more effectively and efficiently’.