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NHS - the beginning of online health

12th February 2014

Jeremy Hunt, health secretary, will make the health service "totally dependent" on electronic health records within the next 5 years.

Doctor ComputerSpeaking at a Cambridge Health Network Event, he said:  "Money is tight and when used well, technology can help use resources much more effectively."

He has outlined 3 main objectives to do this:

  • To upload all electronic health records online.
  • Link the online databases from different hospitals together to create statistics to analyse. This can further understanding of diseases and aid with human genome sequencing.
  • Patients are to be in charge of their own "health destinies" and given access to their own records which can further promote self-care.

  • From April 2015, all GPs will start allowing appointments and repeat subscriptions to be booked online. Services such as A&E and 111 phone services will have access to medical history which will allow for a better standard and continuation of care.

    NHS England’s director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, highlighted the importance of the NHS collaborating with the private and non-profit sector.

    There has been criticism over the method of distributing the new information. Every household received an informational leaflet that described what was happening and gave individuals a chance to opt out. Arguably, this has not been made clear enough.


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