Health secretary Matt Hancock to boost NHS IT with £200m fund

Henrietta Strickland
September 9, 2018

The trial will see patients in Liverpool, Hastings, Bristol, Staffordshire and South Worcestershire given access to the app, which will also allow them to use NHS 111 online for urgent medical queries.

Hancock gave an honest account of where the NHS is at in terms of interoperability, cyber-security and culture regarding the adoption of new technology.

Patients in these areas will be able to use a test version of the app to access a range of features to do with their care, including booking GP appointments and viewing their medical record.

To help the NHS further, the secretary of state announced that more than £200m would be invested to transform a group of NHS trusts into internationally-recognised centres for technology and digital innovation.

Speaking at this week's Health and Care Innovation Expo, health minister Lord O'Shaughnessy said AI and machine learning was a field moving "at lightning speed" and with "tremendous potential across the healthcare sector". The funding would support GDEs in acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England, with the hope that these would inspire others to innovate and produce services of a similar standard.

Lastly, Hancock announced the creation of a HealthTech Advisory Board, which will highlight the NHS organisations that aren't following best practice.

Later this year, he will unveil a 10 year plan for the NHS, setting out how a £20bn funding boost will be spent, having already said that technology, development of the NHS workforce and prevention of illness will be his major priorities.

"The net result is not just scarce resources wasted but countless hours of clinical staff spent trying to work broken systems, patients being given suboptimal care because systems didn't communicate and ultimately lives lost".

He also reassured anyone who are building their own products that the NHS has no intention in closing off the market, he added: "in fact we want exactly the opposite".

Hancock says the new app will allow patients to interact with the NHS the same way they do their bank.

"We can create a service that is more responsive and adaptable, that will be more efficient and reach more people".

Matt Hancock has made bringing NHS IT "into the 21st century" his most high-profile task as he promises today that he will use better technology to improve care.

The health secretary concluded his article by noting that "technology has unleashed huge improvements in the rest of our lives".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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