latest health care news


NHS gets £500m tech boost to overcome ‘binary approach’ to care

The new health and social care secretary has outlined his plans for the future of the NHS, pledging almost half a billion pounds to the technology sector as part of a “transformation” of the health service.

Making his first public speech in the role to staff at West Suffolk hospital today, Hancock – who comes straight from the top job at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport – focused on three early priorities: technology, the health and care work force, and prevention.

Around £487m of funding will be dedicated to technology as part of the NHS’s long-term plan to reduce patient waiting times and lessen the burden on frontline workforces.

Hancock said: “Because we are one NHS, our health system is uniquely placed to become the most advanced health system in the world – one where technology addresses the user need – making care better for patients, but just as importantly making life easier for staff.

“For too long, decisions on health and care have seemed to involve a trade-off – improving patient outcomes at the expense of placing ever more pressure on staff, while reducing the demands on staff has been seen to have an impact on patient care. Technology and data innovation offers an opportunity to move past this binary approach.”

As part of the plan the government will invest £412m into new technology at hospitals, which is expected to improve efficiency, enhance patient safety and help more patients access health services at home.

Outdated technology targeted for the funding includes replacing pagers with smartphone apps, the phasing out of the use of fax machines, and the continued roll-out of Scan4Safety barcode tracking programme in hospitals to trace all patients and their treatments.

A further £75m is available to help trusts put in place electronic prescribing systems, which save money and reduce potentially deadly medication errors by up to 50% compared to paper systems. Bids have been processed for this funding and money will now be allocated to trusts to start putting systems in place.

“This money is just the start, and the entire £20bn proposed for the NHS will be contingent on modern technological transformation,” Hancock concluded.

The secretary of state’s promises come after a series of digital initiatives kick-started by previous boss Jeremy Hunt, who most recently announced a new app aimed at improving access to GP records, appointments and prescriptions by doing away with the “8am scramble.”

Beyond technology – which will even include harnessing space tech to improve health solutions – the NHS has been suffering with a lack of regulations around data sharing, with the major national bodies recently being called on to develop a framework by the end of the year to avoid another Google DeepMind fiasco.

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >


Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

17/02/2020Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

Independent consultant and strategic advisor Dean Royles continues his series on The Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership. You can find links to his previous pieces here. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >