Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced a £40m investment to upgrade ‘outdated’ frontline NHS technology by putting a stop to slow staff login times.
The investment will fund projects aimed at cutting the number of passwords needed to access different IT programmes, so that only one set of details is required.
The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed to Nursing in Practice‘s sister publication Pulse that the money will be used for practices as well as NHS trusts, but was unable to say how much of the £40m will be given to GPs.
The Government said the new technology will ‘streamline’ the time it takes for NHS staff to access IT systems and will allow for more patient care.
The money will be given to projects that work with IT suppliers to create standardised login procedures and new ways of accessing systems – such as using finger prints – instead of traditional passwords.
Announcing the investment, Mr Hancock said: ‘Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention and the care they deserve.
‘It is frankly ridiculous how much time our doctors and nurses waste logging on to multiple systems. As I visit hospitals and GP practices around the country, I’ve lost count of the amount of times staff complain about this.’
He added: ‘This investment is committed to driving forward the most basic frontline technology upgrades, so treatment can be delivered more effectively and we can keep pace with the growing demand on the NHS.’
Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX said: ‘If you work in the NHS, the tech should not be getting in the way of your ability to do your job.”
‘Tech should be something you rarely think about because it just works. Today’s announcements mean we can start to tackle one of the biggest gripes staff have with their tech. It will allow staff across the NHS to spend more time with their patients and less time fighting their computers.’
The DHSC also announced it will fund a new programme that supports projects helping NHS trusts to make better use of digital technology.
The CQC will also begin to assess NHS trusts against a set of minimum technology standards, said the DHSC.
This time last year, Matt Hancock pledged to ‘overhaul’ GP IT systems and acknowledged their slow and ‘frustrating’ systems.
He later announced a £150m investment into IT resilience, a three-year package to support security and prevent cyber attacks.