latest health care news


NHS IT systems ‘costing lives’: Hancock unveils £200m digital fund and five app trials

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has described the NHS’s IT systems as “stuttering,” arguing that they are putting lives at risk and are in need of a serious upgrade.

“It’s time to bring the health and care system into the 21st century,” Hancock vowed in his article for The Telegraph as he announced a new £200m fund for NHS trusts to bid for in order to help them with IT systems transformation.

He is also set to announce trials for a new NHS app which will allow patients to book GP appointments, access the 111 service, view medical records, and record organ donation preferences.

The app is set to be tested across Liverpool, Hastings, Bristol, Staffordshire and South Worcestershire, with a national roll-out due by the end of the year.

One thing Hancock highlighted was that the inability to transfer patient data between, for example, a patient’s GP and their hospital, was hindering clinicians’ ability to save lives.

He also mentioned that the NHS is still one of the largest buyers of fax machines in the world and that, despite its “chequered history” with IT, opportunities from technologies such as artificial intelligence means we are now capable of a serious digital overhaul.

Hancock used the case of 13-year-old Tamara Hill as an example of the NHS’s outdated IT. She tragically died of a fatal asthma attack after being seen by 47 different medical professionals.

“Linking the records of her visits and making them available for the clinicians she saw could have allowed her doctors to better understand her medical history, to treat her differently and perhaps prevent her death,” he wrote.

The health secretary concluded his article by noting that “technology has unleashed huge improvements in the rest of our lives. Done right, with the consent of patients, it can improve our NHS, too.”

The £200m IT transformation fund and new NHS app trials are set to be formally announced at the Health and Care Expo conference in Manchester later today. You can follow live updates from the event through the day on NHE’s Twitter.

Top image: Kirsty O'Connor


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

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Sneak a peek into the world of risk

19/12/2018Sneak a peek into the world of risk

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asked its members what working in ri... more >
The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

19/12/2018The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

The development of the NHS long-term plan offers a reset moment: a chance t... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

14/01/2019Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management,’ returns to write for NHE for hi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


January 2019

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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 >