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90% of NHS trusts now have electronic patient records

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NHS England is investing £1.9 billion to support hospital trusts to embrace digital transformation

Digital transformation of health and social care is a top priority for the UK government and it has shown its commitment to it.

The National Health Service England (NHSE) has already achieved the target of making 90 per cent of hospital trusts adopt electronic patient records – one month ahead of the scheduled time.

As of 16 November, 189 NHS trusts have introduced EPR (EPR) systems, with Hillingdon Hospitals and Sheffield Health and Social Care being the latest to join the league.

Last year, the government published a ‘plan for digital health and social care’, setting a target that 90 per cent of NHS trusts will have an EPR system by December 2023 and 100 per cent by 2025.

Commenting on the achievement, Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins said: “Electronic records give clinicians access to vital patient information when and where they need it, alerting them to immediate risks and giving them more time to care for their patients.

“I am pleased NHS England has met this important target ahead of schedule and look forward to working with the health service to ensure all NHS staff have the resources they need to deliver the modern healthcare our patients deserve.”

NHS England is investing £1.9 billion to support hospital trusts to either adopt a new or improve their existing systems.

Last year, it spent over £400 million to support 150 NHS trusts, and a further £500 million will reach trusts this year.

Speaking at the NHS Providers National Conference and Exhibition in Liverpool on Wednesday, NHS England’s Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: “Thanks to the teams at Sheffield Health and Social Care and Hillingdon Hospitals, who completed their go-lives over the last couple of weeks, you have now delivered on the target for 90 per cent of trusts to have this capability in place ahead of winter.

“Delivering that switch isn’t easy but it’s worth it because that’s the underpinning work that will enable us to benefit from new technologies.”

Dr Vin Diwakar, Interim National Director of Transformation at NHS England, informed that they will continue to provide support to the remaining 10 per cent of trusts to enable them to embrace EPR systems.

“Digitalising the NHS is the best way of delivering a modern healthcare system that will help to improve patient care and save lives,” he stated.

Under the digital transformation plan, the government has also set a target for 80 per cent of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – registered adult social care providers to have digital care records by March 2024.

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