Outdated and obstructive NHS IT systems will become a thing of the past, the Health and Social Care secretary has said following the launch of his technology vision in ‘the future of healthcare.’
Matt Hancock’s vision aims to transform NHS technology to allow appropriate access to real-time data, which will underpin the digital services and data innovations needed.
The vision outlines plans to introduce technical standards that digital services and IT systems in the NHS must meet – the plan will mean systems can communicate with each other securely and ensure they are upgradable.
The Health and Social Care secretary said any systems that fail to meet these standards will be phased out and that the government will look to end contracts with providers who do not understand these principles for the health and care sector.
The GOV UK website said: “The changes will secure a brighter future for the health and social care system and are central to unlocking the potential of innovative technologies to support care.”
Mr Hancock said: “The tech revolution is coming to the NHS. The robust standards will ensure that every part of the NHS can use the best technology to improve patient safety, reduce delays and speed up appointments.
“A modern technical architecture for the health and care service has huge potential to deliver better services and to unlock our innovations.
“We want this approach to empower the country’s best innovators – inside and outside the NHS – and we want to hear from staff, experts and supplies to ensure our standards will deliver the most advanced health and care service in the world.”
Dr Simon Eccles, chief clinical information officer for health and care for NHS England, said: “Investing in excellent digital systems means patients can access the best and safest treatment pathways available, as swiftly as possible at the best value for taxpayers.
“This, combined with our plan to use technology to improve existing treatments and join up information across the NHS, will set the health service in England on track to be the world-leader in innovative health care.”