NHS to prioritise digital excellence plans following Wachter review

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt reveals plans to set up a new academy to train NHS staff in digital skills.

Great news for UK’s IT and technology industry, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed plans to set up a new academy to train NHS staff in digital skills; to spread digital best practice. The investment will be a Multi-million pound package with the aim to achieve digital greatness.

Alongside investment in technology and infrastructure, the funding will be used to improve training for staff and will also encourage a new generation of chief clinical information officers to drive forward advances in digital technology.

So, what is the Wachter review?

US IT expert Professor Bob Wachter launched a review earlier this year looking at the computer systems across the NHS. The review, ‘Making IT work: harnessing the power of health IT to improve care in England’, looked at places where IT has worked well and those areas that need improving. It also looked at different ways to implement IT in healthcare as the NHS works towards being paperless by 2020.

Professor Wachter said:

“The NHS is one of the world’s largest health and healthcare systems, and one of its largest employers. It’s essential that information technology across the NHS works well and can perform the tasks needed to deliver high quality, safe and efficient care. I am looking forward to finding out about some of the great work taking place across the NHS and highlighting areas for improvement.”

Find out more about the Wachter review in the video below:

Speaking about the review, Hunt has expressed that:

“Bob Wachter’s excellent review made it clear that digitisation is as much about people as it is technology, and that this is a real opportunity to improve patient care for the long term,”

He continued: “We want to fast track existing digital excellence, as well as nurture new skills and expertise that we will need to deliver a new breed of digitised services.

“This means on the one hand giving pioneering NHS organisations the financial backing to unleash their full potential, while also making sure that we can build a digitally-confident workforce across the whole NHS.”

New digital services for patients will enable them to register with a GP, access healthcare records and get medical advice via their tablet or smartphone all in one place. The services, which will be available from the end of next year, are intended to make the NHS easier to use for the increasing numbers of people using smartphones and other mobile devices to access public services.

We believe this is great news for the UK’s digital industry and look forward to seeing the advancements that the NHS makes. The NHS is already a unique spectacle for the UK so putting it on the map for its digital excellence will help to attract future talent to the industry and open up more jobs with specific digital skills.

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