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Sajid Javid announces focus on technology to improve healthcare

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid has announced his intentions to place focus on the role of technology within healthcare by prioritising personalised care and levelling up.

In his live speech via the Department for Health and Social Care social media platforms, the Health Secretary said he would like for 75 percent of adults in England to be using the NHS App by March 2024.

Javid said: “To get there, we need to show people the app is for life, not just for COVID, and that it will be a future front door for interacting with the NHS.

“The NHS is already working on new features, including how we can show estimated waiting times and the results of blood tests within the app.

“The NHS app has shown how people are receptive to having healthcare literally in their hands – and we have the opportunity to use platforms like apps and websites to access diagnostics and therapies, helping them to manage their own conditions”.

Javid also announced that he would like to see 90 percent of NHS trusts to have an electronic patient record (EPR) in place or be processing them by December next year.

EPR systems are estimated to free-up 23,000 hours of nursing time for care a year as well as better consistency and reducing the length of time patients spend in hospital.

Sajid Javid said: “We have undeniably seen brilliant progress. But this progress hasn’t always been consistent across the board - for example one in five trusts still do not have electronic patient records.

“Electronic patient records are the essential prerequisite for a modern, digital NHS. Without them, we cannot achieve the full potential for reform.

“So, I want to accelerate the rollout of these vital records, with a new approach so that we hit 90% coverage by the end of next year.

“I want to see a particular focus on social care, where around 40% of providers are still grappling entirely with paper-based records. So, want to see all social care providers adopt a digital social care record”.

The Health Secretary is set to publish a digital health plan later this year which will outline future plans to help in recovery from the pandemic and promote change across digital health.

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NHE May/June 2024

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