Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt reviewing IT and digital health

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt plans to make better use of IT, in order to create “the most patient-focused NHS culture ever”

Part of Mr Hunt’s new agenda includes the appointment of Professor Bob Wachter, a world expert on the pitfalls of new IT systems. Professor Wachter will conduct a review for the NHS on the lessons that need to be learned to ensure a smooth move towards a digital future.

Reported on, a spokesman for the Department of Health told the website about the nature of the review: “It’s going to look at how NHS trusts have used IT systems, the successes and failures and what has been learned.”

Last week saw the release of some interim results from a concurrent review being conducted into patient access to the latest digital technologies. The Accelerated Access Review findings have been compiled from the viewpoints of 600 stakeholders, and put patients at the heart of the debate. Barriers to adoption include incentives, skills shortages and compatibility issues. The findings suggest that patients could be key to unlocking some of these barriers.

Mr Hunt’s latest raft of changes will also include the introduction of new ‘Ofsted style’ ratings to show patients how their local area’s health service is performing in crucial areas.

By giving patients access to performance data, healthcare services in local towns and cities will be more accountable to their local population than previously, said a statement from the Department of Health.

The statement reads that patients and clinicians “will also benefit from a range of new measures to cut bureaucracy across the health system, saving valuable time and money”.

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