Health Secretary announces digital overhaul plan for NHS

The UK government has announced a new ‘Digital Revolution’ strategy to help combat Covid backlogs and improve services, with the health and social care sector a key priority.

The strategy includes a planned £2 billion to digitise the NHS and social care sector with aims to upgrade the NHS App to offer more personalised care and utilise electronic patient records.

By giving people greater access to care through an improved NHS app, the government hopes to drive efficiency in GPs and hospitals which in turn will help bust Covid backlogs by saving time and space.

Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “We are embarking on a radical programme of modernisation that will make sure the NHS is set up to meet the challenges of 2048 – not 1948, when it was first established.”

“Ensuring more personalisation and better join up of the system will benefit patients, free up clinician time, and help us to bust the Covid backlogs.”

This personalised approach, the government hopes, will also save billions of pounds for taxpayers.

Commenting on the strategy, Tom Moore, CEO of digital skills training provider, WithYouWithMe, said: “It is encouraging to see the UK government’s plans to level up the use of technology in the public services sector where tech can improve the efficiency of hospitals, for example, which in turn can save vital amounts of time and space whilst also helping to combat Covid backlogs which continue to slow many industries down today.”

“Technology plays a crucial role in all industries, however introducing and implementing new technology is only part of the solution. It is also key to deploy people with digital skills to utilise the technology and get the most out of it, helping public services and other industries to reap the largest benefits.”

“With plans to expand the use of technology, the digital divide must be addressed through training people to be proficient with this technology. Lowering the barriers to entry to acquiring digital skills is an important step here, encouraging a greater volume of people to pursue a career in technology and lead the levelling up agenda.”