London – With the recent announcement of an AirBnB-type scheme for outpatients of NHS services, senior leaders are considering a full expansion of services to leverage on the growth of the sharing economy. Businesses such as Deliveroo and Uber have proven that owning nothing and contracting out everything on a per use basis, is cheap, easy, and legal enough.
Gerald McMaster, a senior operations planner with the NHS said, “we are exploring how these business models could work for us. For example, instead of ambulances, patients would use a new Uber function we are trialing called Uber999, which allows drivers to make use of a siren and flashing blue lights to get to hospital faster.”
The NHS are exploring other innovative ways of working, including a move back to GP home visits, to cut down on the costs of keeping GP units open. “If we look at the success of Deliveroo, people are increasingly seeking home delivery of everything – why should healthcare be any different. If we can get GP’s on their bicycles to deliver care at home, that’s a win-win. Fitter GP’s and less overhead costs” said McMaster.
Despite these innovations, the NHS is unlikely to meet budget constraints without further innovations. Anne Sherwarn an NHS innovation specialist, suggested that more cost saving ideas such as DIY healthcare delivered through YouTube videos and webinars were being developed. “You can sort a dislocated arm, stitch a wound or even support home child-birth with a well shot and edited video, so that’s something we are excited about developing.”