The NHS - money and IT. Haven’t we been here before?

The NHS - money and IT. Haven’t we been here before?

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s recent speech to the KIng’s Fund outlined his thoughts on the latest iteration for the future of the NHS ( He talked about big challenges needing big solutions and outlined the Governments 4 pillars for the NHS. 1) The need for a strong economy; 2) the need for integrated care closer to home at the heart of a response to an aging popultaion; 3) Innovation and value for money - seeking £22Bn saving; and 4) Getting the right culture of compassion and care within the NHS.

This was then followed by NHS England setting the direction for NHS information technology and informatics so that commissioners, providers and suppliers can make informed investment decisions, identifying, amongst the alternative approaches, those that deliver the highest quality care for patients. Frontline clinicians leading this agenda will ensure that systems are designed around optimal clinical workflows, enabling health and care professionals to do their jobs more effectively. In other words, it all becoming much more IT savvy. 

Also, Health and social care leaders set out plans to transform people’s health and improve services using technology -

Key deliverables for the Strategic Systems and Technology Directorate include:

  • enabling and supporting people to access and interact with their individual health records online should they wish to do so
  • facilitating the widespread adoption of modern, safe standards of electronic record-keeping
  • the re-launch of the Choose and Book service to make eReferrals available to patients and health professionals for all secondary care by 2015
  • enabling primary care providers to offer the facility to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online
  • supporting hospitals to implement safe and effective electronic prescribing services for their patients
  • ensuring  that integrated digital care records (IDCRs) become universally available at the point of care for all clinical and care professionals
  • encouraging and facilitating the widespread adoption of the Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (EPS) programme which allows prescribers, such as doctors and practice nurses, to send prescriptions electronically to a dispenser, such as a pharmacy, of the patient’s choice
  • commissioning the nationally provided  IT infrastructure which underpins NHS services, such as the Spine (the national system which enables information to be shared across NHS care settings), N3 (the underlying network) and NHSmail (the secure email service).

© Dr Rob Hogan 2017