New ServicesNHS to become paperless by 2018, save £4.4b: Health Secretary

NHS to become paperless by 2018, save £4.4b: Health Secretary

Jeremy Hunt wants all patients to have online access to their health records and for GPs to refer patients via email rather than letters.

NHS paperless Jeremy Hunt
“The NHS cannot be the last man standing”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he wants the NHS to become paperless by 2018, led by the NHS Commissioning Board – a move that, according to a PwC study, could save the government up to £4.4 billion a year. He also wants all patients to have online access to their health records and for GPs to refer patients via email rather than letters.

“The NHS cannot be the last man standing as the rest of the economy embraces the technology revolution,” he said, adding that he thought it was “crazy that ambulance drivers cannot access a full medical history of someone they are picking up in an emergency – and that GPs and hospitals still struggle to share digital records.”

The suggestions of the PwC study included NHS organisations texting their patients in the events that their test results were negative.

Although not officially announced, it has been reported that the NHS Commissioning Board wants South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit’s managing director Ming Tang to be its new director for data and information management systems. This will mean Tang will be responsible for delivering Hunt’s goals.

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