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Health secretary launches digital platform for NHS staff

Matt Hancock hopes the digital Talk Health and Care platform will encourage staff to share their ideas and views on how to make working in the NHS better

Health secretary Matt Hancock has launched an online platform for NHS staff to share ideas and views on how to improve the health service.  

The platform, called Talk Health and Care, lets staff post ideas on five main “challenges” where the health secretary believes improvements can be made. 

They include having staff feel more empowered, working without fear of bullying, making the NHS a place that respects and values everyone’s contribution, “getting the basics right”, and having access to the right training and development resources – such as using tech to improve access.

Staff can post on the different ideas, start new topics and share their thoughts and discuss them with others on the online forum. The platform is available on computers, phones and tablets, and will continuously be updated, according to the government. It will also include webinars and events across the country.

Launching the platform, Hancock said that in return for the hard work NHS staff put in, they should be “valued, supported and developed”.

“It’s time we hear from health and care staff about what they really have to say about the jobs that are at the heart of this country,” he said.

“Nobody knows what needs improving more than hard-working staff themselves, so my message is clear: we are listening to you, we want your views and we will use them to ensure the long-term plan for the NHS helps you.”

The platform, which was launched on the back of feedback from staff saying they don’t feel valued, is already seeing bursts of activity around several issues, including technology.  

The Department for Health and Social Care is also launching a workforce panel, which will regularly meet with Hancock to discuss issues affecting staff.

At the recent NHS Expo, Hancock said he wanted NHS leaders to help change the culture in the NHS and champion digital technology.  

“I can understand why leadership would shy away from grappling with technology, given the history, but we must get back to driving this transformation,” he said. 

“We must drive this agenda, and you need to know that I’ve got your back. The biggest risk is in not driving digital transformation.”

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