ITSM Innovation, IT Service Desk in the NHS

Marc Lawton, NHS Account Director

I recently attended the NHS iLINKS Innovations conference which is dedicated to showcasing innovation and technology and exploring the benefits across health and social care. Sunrise is proud to sponsor and support our customer, NHS Informatics Merseyside, which organises the event on an annual basis, attracting senior clinical and technology leaders from the local NHS and wider health and social care sector.

Every time I meet a Service Desk team which supports essential services, like the NHS, I am struck by not only the dedication but also the innovation which drives such teams. Frontline services get the press – for good or for bad – but behind the scenes, critical functions such as IT are pushing the boundaries to keep the cogs oiled, turning and – to stretch the analogy – looking for the next new set of wheels.

NHS Service Desks aren’t just about day to day IT support. Yes, as in other sectors, they’re challenged by proposing ongoing improvements and resolving issues in line with timeliness – but that can mean life or death, not just a missed appointment. They’re also challenged by diversity, from office environments to the clinical coalface to the mobile response unit, as well as by users from the patient to the surgeon.

Technology is changing IT support beyond recognition and those bold adopters, who often put their customers’ needs before their own comfort, are at the fore front of delivering a diverse range of new services which will help shape health provision for the next generations.

The 3 main themes of this year’s iLINKS conference, a Connected health & social care economy, Digitally empowered individuals and Exploring the digital revolution, go to show just how inspired and dare I say inspirational an IT department can be. Examples of disruptive and innovative technology showed diverse cutting edge healthcare provision that is challenging the requirements of IT and support. We all know that IT Service Management isn’t just about resetting passwords; now it’s all about applying digital transformation to meet organisational needs. Exciting times to be working in technology, and I for one am gunning for those tech departments that push just that little bit more.