At the beginning of the year, NHS England set three main priorities for 2023/24. The first was to recover core services and productivity. The second to make progress in delivering the key ambitions of the NHS’s Long Term Plan. And finally, to continue transforming the NHS for the future. I speak on behalf of us all when I say we can take immense pride in knowing that we have done everything in our power to support Trusts in pursuing these goals.
While 2023 has marked a fantastic year of change and growth, we must acknowledge the groundwork we put in place over 2022 and the early stages of 2023, which has started to pay dividends. The market now recognises who we are and our ability to offer practical solutions to Trusts’ challenges, enhancing staff productivity and, in turn, facilitating superior patient care. After meeting with our clients, we have gathered valuable feedback, and across the board, assurances resonate that our services have played a pivotal role in elevating the standard of patient care by empowering staff to be more productive.
We were delighted to see our latest new customer – Liverpool Heart & Chest – go live with Epro earlier this year. The Epro team have enjoyed working with their talented team to train and ensure that our platform is a true enabler for clinical productivity across the Trust. We have also enjoyed working with our existing client base to roll out the latest version of our platform – Epro23 – which we launched at NHS ConfedExpo in June. We have been particularly pleased to see the results of some recent pilot activity for our latest speech platform, which has delivered over 60% efficiencies to one of our customers.
Throughout this year, we have invested in the business, bringing in a wealth of talented individuals to key roles. Notably Andrew, our Operations Director, is the team’s latest addition. However, I would like to thank everyone who has joined – and improved – the Epro family this year. And internally, our dedication to excellence has been further underscored by the achievement of the ISO 9001 accreditation. This is a significant milestone and a testament to the ingrained quality in the DNA of Epro.
The backdrop of 2023 has been marked by a challenging healthcare environment and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing waiting lists, staff strikes and staff retention issues. This has all collectively impeded the NHS in fulfilling its vital role. The results of this are that the funds initially set aside for digitisation have been moved to plug the gaps in front-end care, culminating in a strain and demand on the NHS – a cycle that will prove very difficult to break in the coming years. However, tech must now – more than ever – play a pivotal role in supporting Trusts as they navigate their way through the challenges at hand. Questions arise regarding the investment in Electronic Patient Records (EPR) systems and the varied digital maturity of Trusts, with some organisations needing a more fundamental digital infrastructure – not a full scale rip and replace. For Epro, this realisation is an opportunity to make a significant impact and as we push on into the new year the question that guides us should remain, ‘How do we prioritise our efforts to help people’?
We have a strong belief that 2024 is going to be an exciting year for Epro. There’s a general election looming, and one of the points this year from HETT was that different political parties are now setting out their visions for health care. Those visions must support British businesses that have grown up fuelled by NHS innovation, like Epro, and are already in place to help the NHS on a broader scale. While it’s great to see political parties setting out their stall on healthcare, now is the time for them to turn words into actions, and we hope these policies can get on the ground. The next parliament must ensure health tech businesses can support the NHS and enhance their productivity across the board.
As we collectively pause to spend much time with our families and friends this holiday season, let us consider some ways to make 2024 an even better year than the one just gone. Undoubtedly, Epro stands out as a provider offering ways to optimise existing infrastructure, significantly lower costs and a swifter implementation timeframe. Our commitment extends beyond mere efficiency; we are dedicated to alleviating NHS staff’s frustrations with technology and enabling them to become more comfortable in their roles.
In this spirit, let us also express gratitude for the resilience and strength of our healthcare system here in the UK. We sincerely thank the dedicated frontline staff who tirelessly care for those in need. By working hand in hand, we can contribute to the continuous improvement of both our healthcare system and the well-being of those it serves. May 2024 be a year marked by collective effort, gratitude, and meaningful progress for all.
From our team to yours,