GLOBALHealthPR partner Aurora hosts webinar with leading industry experts 

 As one of the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the United Kingdom has seen its challenges related to health system response. With this as the backdrop, GLOBALHealthPR’s UK partner and European Hub, Aurora, recently convened a ground-breaking panel discussion to explore the strategic and ethical challenges of rebuilding a health service that is innovative, affordable, effective and, crucially, prepared for the healthcare challenges of tomorrow.

Aurora joined forces with ‘slow news’ website Tortoise in the first partnership of its kind: Tortoise’s journalists focus on exploring bigger issues in real depth, rather than competing for attention in the 24-hour news cycle. The webinar featured a stellar line-up of health experts: Dame Donna Kinnair, General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing; Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of NHS England; and Dr. Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

The perspectives and opportunities discussed share broad applicability beyond Britain’s borders. Amid ever-increasing pressure on the health system, there was consensus on the benefits of an integrated healthcare model that is patient-centric, appropriately staffed, embraces collaboration, and is adaptable to new innovations and digital solutions.

Below, we summarise key takeaways from the webinar:

  • Pharma is stepping up to the challenge. Dr. Richard Torbett emphasized that roughly three quarters of the 120 different COVID-19 vaccines investigated around the world are being led by the pharma industry. Further, every vaccine candidate will require pharma support to manufacture at scale and distribute globally.
  • Necessity forces long-overdue changes. In light of the pandemic, innovative care delivery models are being adopted in the UK and beyond. Countries around the world are trying to create health systems that support patients who take responsibility for their health, while reducing unnecessary face-to-face contact and appointments where appropriate – primarily enabled through digital channels.
  • Investing in healthcare can drive economic growth and better health outcomes. Sir David Nicholson noted that health expenditure can have a significant impact on the economy and population health outcomes. Healthier individuals can be more productive in the labour market, and there is a growing literature establishing the relationship between health system spending and health outcomes. For example, study data revealed that increases in health care expenditure decreased amendable mortality in 17 European countries between 1980 and 2010.
  • Healthcare systems must evolve to become patient-centric. To create a sustainable healthcare system, a patient’s specific health needs should be the driving force behind all healthcare decisions. Providers should treat patients not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, social, and financial perspective. Clear communication, understanding patients’ needs, and empathy are especially critical during COVID-19.

You can view the full discussion on Aurora’s campaign page.

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