Matt Hancock: new technology is key to making NHS the world's best

The NHS can become the most advanced health system in the world by embracing the best innovations in new technology and artificial intelligence, says Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock photo

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock will set out plans at the NHS Expo in Manchester today to make the NHS an ecosytem for the best technology available. These will build on the £20 billion long-term plan to transform health and social care so it can improve treatment and deliver better care for patients.

He will announce that the new NHS app will be piloted in 5 areas in England from next month, ahead of a national roll-out in December: Liverpool, Hastings, Bristol, Staffordshire and South Worcestershire. Patients in these areas will be able to download a test version of the app, allowing access to:

• booking GP appointments
• ordering repeat prescriptions
• their medical record
• 111 online access for urgent medical queries
• data sharing preferences
• organ donation preferences
• end-of-life care preferences

More than £200 million will also be invested to make a group of NHS trusts into internationally recognised centres for technological and digital innovation. The funding will support new Global Digital Exemplars in acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England to set a gold standard of innovation for other services to follow.

Secretary of State will also announce the creation of the HealthTech Advisory Board, chaired by Dr Ben Goldacre, which will report directly back to him. It will highlight where change needs to happen, where best practice isn’t being followed, and be an ideas hub for how to improve patient outcomes and experience and make the lives of NHS staff easier.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to say:

"I love the NHS. It’s been there for me – as it’s been there for us all – at some of the most difficult moments in my life. The NHS has saved the lives of my close family, and has cared for family and friends in dire need.

"I want the best for the NHS, and will do all I can to make that happen. We are proposing to increase the NHS budget by £20 billion a year, to guarantee the NHS for the long term. But money alone is not enough. We need to make the most of that money.

"Our hospitals operate dozens of systems each, that don’t talk to each other. GPs, social care, pharmacies and community care are on different systems. Systems crashing is a regular occurrence. The social care system is not at all integrated, when its integration is vital.

"The NHS infrastructure is stronger and moving in the right direction. Local pockets of brilliance shine out. The generic technology available outside the NHS is a million times better. And we have learned a huge amount about how to deliver cutting-edge tech in very complicated settings with big legacy systems.

"Now is the moment to put the failures of the past behind us, and set our sights on the NHS being the most cutting-edge system in the world for the use of technology to improve our health, make our lives easier, and make money go further, harnessing the amazing explosion of innovation that the connection of billions of minds through digital technology has brought to this world."


From:           
Department of Health and Social Care
The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

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