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Technology: £40 million investment into NHS computer systems

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Slow computer systems are a major frustration Slow computer systems are a major source of frustration for NHS staff

The government will provide £40 million to improve slow login times on NHS computers, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

According to the department, difficulties logging into different systems are one of the main technology frustrations facing NHS staff. May staff currently have to log in to multiple computer programmes when tending to a patient, with each programme requiring its own login details, while some need to log into as many as 15 different systems. The investment intends to ease the administrative burden on NHS staff, freeing up time for more one-to-one patient care.

‘I want to harness the best digital technology to improve care for patients and ease the burden on our staff. And to do that, we need to get the basics right. Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention and the care they deserve,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

‘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. It’s no good in the 21st century having 20th century technology at work. 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.’

To bridge the technology gap between the NHS and social care, a further £4.5 million will be given to local authorities to develop digital adult social care projects to support the most vulnerable in society to live independently for longer and improve information sharing across the NHS and social care.

‘If you work in the NHS, the tech should not be getting in the way of your ability to do your job,’ said Chief Executive of NHSX, Matthew Gould. ‘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.’

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