The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) welcomes the Government’s announcement of an average 3.4% increase in funding for NHS frontline care between now and 2023.

We also support the Prime Minister’s call that “every penny is well spent”. The future sustainability of the health service will require increased efficiencies and productivity. Specifically, NCUB is calling for a concerted focus on digital skills adoption across the entire health and social care eco system as set out in our latest report: ‘The Human Factor: Driving Digital Solutions for 21st Century Health and Care’.

Its primary recommendation is the establishment of a national campaign for digital health and care skills to include:

  • More integration of digital curricula into medical, health and care education in universities and colleges.
  • Better and more communication with patients, users, and the general-public about the benefits of accessing and sharing their data.
  • Data literacy: understanding what can and should be done with data and ways of managing data privacy.
    Public health education, particularly for older patients and their carers.
  • Recognition within the Royal Colleges, medical, care, pharmaceutical and allied health bodies and councils of the benefit that digital solutions can offer to the delivery of patient and user care and the ongoing relationship between patient, user and care giver.
  • Care practices that enable patients to gain maximum benefit from digital solutions.
  • Promoting health and social care as an attractive and socially-responsible career choice for informatic and data scientists.

NCUB Chief Executive David Docherty said:

“I urge Government to put digital skills at the forefront of the training agenda to maintain the world-class service provided by the UK’s doctors, nurses, practitioners and care staff.”





About The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB):

Promoting business-university collaboration for a prosperous and inclusive economy and society

As a membership not-for-profit organisation, the National Centre brings together leaders from across higher education and business to tackle issues of shared interest.

The National Centre for Universities assembled a Task Force of more than 50 experts from business, universities, research councils, consultancies, public and commercial health and social care providers, policy makers and patient groups. This team explored ways in which universities, industry, public and private health and care providers, government, patients and users can successfully partner to deliver the changes necessary for 21st century healthcare. In this, our final report, we focus on the human factors in bringing about transformational change through digital technology.

The report was led by:


Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Chairman, Cancer Research UK; Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge

Beverley Bryant, Chief Operating Officer at System C and Graphnet Care Alliance; Former Director of Digital Transformation, NHS Digital, NHS England

John Jeans CBE, Chairman, EM Imaging; Chairman, The Digital Health and Care Institute; Non-Executive Director, ProMetic Pharma SMT Ltd.; Adviser to the Prime Minister, Medical Technologies

Principal Author:

Dr David Docherty OBE, Chief Executive, National Centre for Universities and Business

For more information, or to interview NCUB CEO David Docherty, please contact