Digital Health

£1 billion to be invested in new digital technology for the NHS

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 14:22 GMT Jump to Comments

The NHS and the government have committed to investing £1 billion in new digital systems to improve data sharing between care professionals and patients.

The money will be invested into the creation of digital systems to streamline health services and cut down on paperwork. The government says it is committed to ensuring that patients will be able to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online, as well as giving patients online access to their health records. The system would also help to gather data to develop more effective treatment strategies.

The Department of Health has stated that the NHS should create systems that allow healthcare professionals to access patients medical details across the country. They hope that this will help provide patients with more effective and personal treatment. They also predict it will reduce errors such as incorrect prescription of drugs which can sometimes arise due to patient's paper notes being lost. 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Rather than imposing a clunky one size fits all approach from Whitehall, this fund will empower local clinicians and health services to come together and find innovative solutions for their patients. Technology is key to helping our A&E staff meet the massive demand they face as the population increases and ages".

In an effort to reduce Accident and Emergency waiting times, the proposed paperless system would give A&E staff instant access to patients. This would mean that unnecessary diagnostic tests would not need to be carried out, and patients could be treated faster, with a reduced risk of being given the wrong medication. This would free up hospital beds as patients would be less likely to stay in hospital overnight. 

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information for NHS England said: "We are delighted with the additional £240m for the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ fund to help patients get better and safer care.

"A single patient record will help make the patient journey from hospital to home seamless, giving professionals from different health and care organisations access to information when they need it most, without patients having to repeat themselves every time they speak to a different doctor, nurse or care professional".

The strategy of transferring to a paperless NHS has been recommended by healthcare experts for a long time. The consensus is that the channel shift towards digital systems will save the NHS millions of pounds, at a time when the service finds itself under mounting financial and political pressure. If the switch is successful, it should drastically improve NHS operations, ultimately resulting in a better experience for patients.

Chris Roche, Chief Technology Officer of EMC EMEA said, “We welcome today’s news that the Government is committing to funding and delivering a large scale clinical database. This is vital for reducing paperwork, improving patient management and the patient experience within the NHS.

"As with all things data and particularly health related, privacy and security are real concerns that should be debated in an open forum. But it is good to see the Government understand the role that data and bio-informatics plays in transforming healthcare and that they are funding the change."

Vicky Sargent, Director of BoilerhouseHealth and author of Better Served: Customer Access, Efficiency and Channel Shift commented: "Technology isn't the biggest challenge, change is". In an exclusive article for The Information Daily, she described channel shift as "a mountain to climb".

Comments

Latest

Open data policies need to become as commonplace as health and safety policies. Opening up needs champions in…

As the recession took hold the public sector was quick to embrace online travel booking. The private sector is…

With optimism slowly but surely returning to the UK economy, many of those organisations that made significant…

English City regions want some of what Scotland's having. Devo Manchester is pushing to the head of the queue.…

The funding crisis in the NHS means we must start a debate on how we can link choices we make to look after our…

Last week’s Scottish independence NO vote brought wider English regional devolution two steps closer. Suppliers…

Every weekday Public Service Intelligence publishes a subscription service focussing on local council news and…

In January this year, Coverity submitted a series of freedom of information (FOI) requests to all the UK’s…

Do you do digital? Take the test

The Information Daily is collaborating with Socitm to research organisations' commitment to and capability for a digital future.

Take the test

View Results

If you have already taken the test, you may view the latest detailed results by entering your email address below


Headline results so far: Results from 108 users

Corporate commitment: 46%
0%
100%
50%
Digital capability: 53%
0%
100%
50%

Margaret Thatcher and Che Guevara would have made an unlikely alliance. But that’s what happened earlier…

Every weekday Public Service Intelligence publishes a subscription service focussing on local council news and…

Every medical professional in the UK, to one degree or another, today faces the challenge of managing a growing…

Birmingham is used to being trashed or ignored and the city council is under threat. But businesses say the Council…