Healthy IT investment for NHS

Earlier this week the BBC interviewed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt regarding the government’s £4bn fund set aside for technology improvements in the NHS.

The investment will help improve the quality and efficiency of electronic systems and give patients more access to health records and online services such as appointment booking and  prescription requests. The funding will also go towards strengthening cyber security and creating more of a digital profile for the NHS with a new website and healthcare apps.

The aim is to create a paperless health service which would enable faster diagnoses for patients and reduce the amount of paperwork and bureaucracy that doctors find frustrating.

This is welcome news for the IT workforce who will play an essential role in transforming and updating existing processes.

Laura Bennett, Lead NHS Recruitment Consultant, Networkers said: “Following the negative press on agency spend on clinical staff within the NHS last year, it’s good to hear that the Health Secretary recognises the importance of investing in IT and technology within the Healthcare Service. 

“IT services play a fundamental role in front line care for patients and are relied on heavily by clinical staff. The £4bn spend on new technology over the next five years will be absolutely vital in providing a safer, stronger and more efficient healthcare service for clinical staff and patients alike.” 

The plan to move away from paper-based records to IT systems is not a new concept. In 2002 the labour government attempted to launch electronic medical records. However, this was scrapped after £10bn had already been invested. This shows that an overhaul of the health service’s IT systems is not cheap or easy to implement.

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