In brief

In brief

  • The 2021 Accenture Health and Life Sciences Experience Survey of nearly 1,200 people in the UK reveals how healthcare is changing.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the UK have adapted rapidly to utilise new channels and technology.
  • Greater collaboration between providers will be key to meeting changing expectations and delivering better patient experiences.

Accelerated by the pandemic, the way people in the UK access healthcare services is changing. With new services and providers, and the rapid growth in use of some digital health technologies, there’s an opportunity for the different organisations across the UK healthcare landscape to collaborate more closely to better serve the needs of patients.

These changes open the door for more innovative and non-traditional health and wellbeing services, offering patients greater choice and control over their healthcare experience.


of individuals use virtual consultations vs 6% pre-pandemic.


use electronic health records vs 4% pre-pandemic.

Varying needs, common expectations

Healthcare needs vary widely, but some basic factors remain paramount for a positive healthcare experience: clear patient communication and efficiently organised care.


want a medical provider who explains their condition and treatment clearly.


want a medical provider who listens to their needs and offers emotional support.


want well-coordinated care and communications.


want efficient medical visits.

We believe healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and other health partners now have an opportunity to help widen access, create more seamless patient experiences and deliver better outcomes by adopting a more connected and people-centric approach to healthcare services.

We see three clear imperatives to achieve a more people-centred health ecosystem:

Address the data dilemma

A more integrated healthcare system requires the widespread – but transparent and secure – sharing of data. This could power greater clinical innovation, the development of new therapeutic treatments, or improve efficiency in healthcare delivery through intelligent automation. It could also give individuals greater insight into their health. But, patients want transparency over how their data is used.


said the pandemic made them consider that they should have the right to approve the collection and use of their personal health information (PHI) for any purpose beyond their treatment.

This creates an opportunity for healthcare providers to engage patients in the active management of their own health and wellbeing. With greater agency and control over their personal health information, providers can discuss with patients the individual merits of sharing their health data for more personalised treatment or for research purposes.

Enable healthcare providers to become digital advocates

Whilst some people have adapted to use digital health technology, there is still a significant group who have reservations. Achieving a more connected healthcare ecosystem will mean overcoming these concerns and giving all patients confidence in the impact these tools will have.


of respondent’s trust information provided by their traditional healthcare providers such as doctors and hospitals.


of UK respondents said they would be uncomfortable using digital technology and AI to get a diagnosis, treatment or take part in clinical trial.

Traditional healthcare practitioners have a key role to play in building advocacy for digital health technology. As the most trusted source for healthcare information with patients, the recommendations of practitioner’s matter. Our research suggests that recommendations like these could contribute significantly to building patient confidence in the technology that underpins connected healthcare.

Build a new relationship between pharmaceutical companies and patients

Despite the role they have played in offering a way back to some normality during the pandemic, trust in pharmaceutical companies remains surprisingly low. Only 12% of respondents trust pharma companies more now than they did pre-covid, and just 33% would trust them to keep their health data secure. There are some clear action areas to build on this somewhat modest uplift in public perceptions.


of people want transparency in research and development.


want clearer communication about medications/treatments effectiveness and their side effects.


say lack of awareness stops them participating in clinical trials.

Crucially, patients are willing to engage more with pharmaceutical companies, so long as those companies meet their expectations on transparency and the information they share.

The time is right for next-generation healthcare experiences

As we take steps to recover from the pandemic, it is time to shape a new future. One that puts people at the heart of healthcare to improve access, experience and outcomes and creates a healthcare ecosystem that is ready for the future.

Ashish Goel

Accenture Europe Health Lead

Jean Liao

Managing Director – Life Sciences


Tom Frederick

Senior Manager – Strategy and Consulting, Healthcare

Pervaise Khan

Managing Director – Life Sciences UKI Industry Lead

Daniel Owczarski

Global Health Research Lead

Selen Karaca-Griffin

Senior Principal, Lead – Global Life Sciences Research


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