latest health care news

06.09.18

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Hancock used the case of 13-year-old Tamara Hill as an example of the NHS’s outdated IT.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!

Comments

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

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

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 >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >

interviews

NHS dreams come true for Teeside cleaner

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teeside cleaner

Over 20 years ago, a Teeside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took ste... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... 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 >