Nigel Elson

About Nigel Elson

Nigel is Co-founder and Commercial Director at Isosec. Nigel’s passion is focussed on delivering great value to Isosec’s customers, something that wasn’t always evident in the large corporates where Nigel spent his early career. “The NHS has to adapt in order to survive and Isosec can play a big part in that and that is incredibly exciting.” Nigel is married with two grown up daughters and enjoys keeping fit, playing golf and cycling.

New NHS Tariff System Offers Good News For Maternity

“Tariff proposal would see maternity spend increase by 8 per cent” Esther Oxford, Health Service Journal, 2nd August 2016


The recent HSJ article suggests that with the newly proposed NHS tariff system spending on Maternity could increase by £221M, a total increase of 8.3%.

Under existing policy, providers are paid according to which care pathway an expectant mother is assigned to. In order to assign pregnant women to the right care pathway, clinicians identify which “clinical complexities” and co-morbidities a woman may develop prior to birth. Women are they then assigned according to the NHS tariff system as standard, intermediate or intensive care pathways, with trusts paid more for the most complex cases.

As a result of the new tariff system, the proportion of women put on pathways providing intensive care is expected to rise from 7.1% of expectant mothers to 11.3%, while 38.7% of women on maternity pathways will be classed as intermediate – up from 27.3% at present. Consequently the proportion of women put on maternity pathways classed as standard – the least expensive tariff – is expected to fall from 65.5% to 50%.

This is great news on the surface but in Isosec’s experience from working closely with Imperial College Healthcare NHS midwives is that the allocation of mothers to the correct category was not always given the attention it warranted. Consequently Trusts were missing out on a large amount of funding (and exposing themselves to potential risk). When the MIA Maternity app was adopted at Imperial College Healthcare NHS the data showed percentages of mums allocated to each category were far from NHS national averages. Senior midwives could soon see that there were some issues with the process (too many women being allocated almost by default to the standard category) and now provide education to their midwives to ensure that (approximately) £170k of potential additional income is recovered.

The moral of this particular piece is that although the message is inherently positive and should be applauded, data must be available to ensure that the correct costs are recovered. This is just one example of data that is very difficult to collect and evidence with paper processes and where using mobile devices will improve the system. MIA collects, evidences and analyses all data passively and presents it as part of our analytics dashboard, so a Trust can easily drill down into their own data and identify any areas for improvement. As the renowned statistician W. Edwards Deming said, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”

NHS signage new tariff system

If you think your Trust or organisation may be missing out on revenue because of inefficient paper processes or loss of data please visit our website or arrange a MIA Maternity demo to find out more.


NHS Agency Spend: Fundamental Change Required but Small Victories Pave the Way

Barely a day goes by without some reference to the amount of money the NHS spends on agency staff. The HSJ recently reported that more than one quarter of NHS Trusts breached their agency spend levels in September last year. And a recent Royal College of Midwives (RCM) report suggested that more than £17M was spent on agency midwives alone in 2014. There is obviously a fundamental problem to be addressed when numerous NHS staff continue to leave permanent employment to work as agency staff but there are things that can be done to mitigate spend with agencies if Trust have the data to make correct resourcing decisions.

The RCM report made me sit-up and take notice because Isosec has been working with more and more Maternity Depts recently. Isosec’s MIA platform captures massive amounts of previously missed data (missed because it was paper based or not captured at all) and this data can be mined and reported on using MIAs Management Reporting tools.

Managers of Maternity Depts using MIA can now see at a glance where there are peaks and troughs of demand and thereby smooth workloads across teams and individuals. Historically when a maternity ward came under pressure agency staff were brought in to help take the strain. Now managers can use the Management Information (MI) from MIA to establish which teams and individuals are not as busy as others, reallocate their workload and assign them to work on the busy labour wards avoiding the need for expensive agency staff to be brought in.

Clearly there will always be occasions when agency staff are required but the capability MIA provides to managers and team leaders to reallocate workload between teams and individuals can provide the required flexibility to avoid using agency staff in all but the most extreme cases.

Agency nurses NHS

Agency nurses NHS

Lord Prior on the NHS Five Year Forward View

A recent HSJ article reporting on Lord Prior’s comments on the ‘Five Year Forward View’ acknowledged that according to the Commonwealth Fund the NHS was recently ranked the safest and most efficient healthcare system in the world. It is certainly great to see some positive news about the NHS for a change. It is all too easy to focus on the bad news stories but this really is a testament to staff and the great work they do day in and day out for the vast majority of people who come into contact with the NHS. However that isn’t to say everything is perfect – we all know it isn’t and the NHS must adapt to survive. Lord Prior goes on to say that there is huge potential to do things better in the NHS – and that is crucial if we are to achieve the care system envisaged in the Five Year Forward View.

One of the ways Lord Prior refers to is the need to shift care from acute settings to out-of-hospital settings, reversing a trend we have witnessed since the early 2000s – of policy decisions driving activity and resources into acute providers, rather than primary and community care. It entails changing the way care is delivered, ensuring we develop a more integrated, place-based system.

In order to enable this we need to provide mobility solutions that enable staff to do their jobs more effectively whilst mobile in the community, whether online within range of a signal or offline when not. Neither is it sufficient to provide mobile workers with their legacy desktop applications running on laptops or in windows on a tablet device – that is not true mobility. What is required are truly mobile apps designed to work on gesture driven devices that make life easier for the frontline staff and better for patients. At Isosec we think we have part of the solution and we look forward to working with colleagues in the NHS to make the five year forward view a reality.

“There is broad consensus on what [the] future needs to be. It is a future that dissolves the classic divide, set almost in stone since 1948, between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health, between health and social care, between prevention and treatment. One that no longer sees expertise locked into often outdated buildings, with services fragmented, patients having to visit multiple professionals for multiple appointments, endlessly repeating their details because they use separate paper records.”

“One organised to support people with multiple health conditions, not just single diseases. A future that sees far more care delivered locally but with some services in specialist centres where that clearly produces better results.”

– NHS Five Year Forward View, October 2014,

You can read the original HSJ article ‘Lord Prior: Two Ways to Help Deliver Our Promise of Transformation’ here:

Lord Prior NHS

Government Spending Review 2015

The government will invest £1bn in new NHS technology over the next five years, according to the comprehensive spending review published today. This sounds like great news, and it is, until you realise that the DoH asked for between £3.3bn and £5.6bn to fund NHS technology projects. I am a ‘glass is half-full’ kind of person (or in this case between one third and one fifth full) and I tend to think this is still good news. The relative scarcity of the money to be invested should mean that only the projects with the strongest business cases and the best governance should be taken forward; to ensure a return on the money invested – which can’t, unfortunately, be said of all of the Tech Fund projects. Assuming this £1bn of investment is spent wisely, delivers the expected return and efficiency improvements, then surely further investment has to follow in order to transform the NHS.

Jeremy Hunt nhs government review

Read the full spending review 2015.

Isosec Exhibiting at HC2014 in Manchester – 19th and 20th March

As part of our strategy to get our message out to Trusts Isosec will be exhibiting this year at Health Care 2014 – The National Health Service IT Conference and Exhibition. This year the event is taking place on the 19th & 20th March 2014 in Manchester at the Manchester Central Convention Centre (still referred to as the G-Mex by anyone from the North West).

Joining Isosec on stand 57 will be The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay demonstrating their Bed Management application that uses Isosec solutions to provide the security and allow the application to be used on an iPad with a full NHS smartcard authentication. Isosec will be focusing on our MIA platform that enables any mobile device (iOS, Android or Win8) to deliver value in any clinical setting but will also be there to talk about iO – our identity agent that works in 64bit, VDI and over 3G networks.

If you are planning to attend HC2014 please join us on stand 57.

Isosec Enables Lenovo W8 NFC Tablet Smartcard Authentication without a Smartcard Reader

I’m delighted to be able to announce that Isosec and Lenovo have made a significant break-through in developing a solution that avoids the need for a physical smartcard reader to perform a smartcard authentication. Isosec’s software, when used in conjunction with a Lenovo mobile tablet device with Near Field Communications (NFC), means a physical smartcard reader is no longer required to perform a smartcard authentication. This has many obvious advantages, not least of which is a reduction in cost. Within an NHS setting it provides a much improved user experience as the session persistence feature within the Isosec software means the smartcard only has to be be presented on first authentication and so the health professional always maintains possession of their smartcard. This removes the risk of it being left in a smartcard reader or the need for smartcards to be shared.

The combination of Lenovo devices and Isosec software products provides a winning combination and a viable alternative to physical smartcard readers at a cheaper cost and provides a better user experience more in keeping with today’s requirement for a mobile workforce.

Here is a video clip of how it works:

Q4 Exceeds Expectations and Q1 Looking Good Already

I’m conscious that my first post was sometime ago and I said I hoped it wouldn’t be my last. Well Q4 is always hectic and meant I was a little pre-occupied (as anyone involved with the NHS will know only too well) but the recent quarter has exceeded expectations in a number of ways. We  over-achieved on an already ambitious target and have added a number of new customers. The signs for Q1 are equally positive and there is a definite buzz around about products with customers recognising the benefits iO can deliver and the interest in our MIA portal is starting to ramp up. Mike Fitzgerald is already making a massive difference despite only being with us a few months. Our move to larger offices is scheduled for May and sees a number of new starters joining us (more of that in my next blog). Our new offices are in Manchester city centre where there is real buzz about the place that will help energise things even more. This year will be an important year for Isosec, it’s already started extremely well and we’ll be doing everything we can to build on the good start.


My first Blog… And welcome to Mike

OK so it’s a first, I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century (not quite made the 21st yet and ready to tweet), and have been inspired (and ordered) to write a blog. What event has caused this massive change of heart? Well as we continue to grow a number of things have conspired; we have launched our new look website and new branding and we are moving into larger offices as a result of taking on a number of new staff but the most exciting and significant piece of news is that Mike Fitzgerald has agreed to join Isosec.

Mike brings with him a massive amount of knowledge and experience and will undoubtedly help catapult the business forward over the coming months. We are looking forward to working with Mike; introducing him to our customers, have him develop the Isosec proposition and help us grow the Isosec business.

I sincerely hope this won’t be my first and last blog and look forward to keeping you up to date with developments at Isosec over the coming months. There will be some exciting product news in the short term to watch out for.