The NHSIA has released the latest figures on levels of connection to NHSnet indicating that the national target to ensure 95% of GP practices have e-mail systems in place by March 2001 has already been achieved.
According to new NHSIA figures by 24 October 2001 some 8495 (97%) of GP practices had an NHSnet line installed, and 8183 (94%) of practices had an e-mail system in place.
The reported figures are national figures, and the NHSIA’s more detailed breakdown of connectivity figures show that considerable work still needs to be done in some parts of England.
Only 66% of the 95 practices covered by Barking and Havering health authority are reported to have e-mail systems, and in Salford and Trafford the figure stands at 72%.
In other parts of the country all GP practices are now reported to be connected to e-mail systems. Croydon, Stockport, Wirral. Northumberland, and Wakefield health authorities all report 100% connectivity.
As the e-mail connectivity figures are not based on individual users the figures on how many practices have local area networks (LAN) installed and connected to NHSnet provide a better indication of the availability of e-mail to individual members of staff.
The latest national figure for LAN connections to NHSnet stands at 88%, very close to the national target of 90% by March 31 2001.
However, this headline figure conceals a great deal of local variation. In Wolverhampton health authority for instance only 44% of practices have LAN connections to NHSnet, with the figure at 50% in Worcestershire.
Just ten Health authorities, including Avon, Stockport and Tees, report that all their practices have such LAN connections in place.
Some 99% of Practices are also reported to have an Acceptable Use Policy signed – which the NHSIA says demonstrates these practices commitment to the NHSnet security policy and therefore their commitment to joining the network. 24th October 2001 – 8495 (97%) Practices have an NHSnet line installed. Some 99% of Practices are also reported to have an Acceptable Use Policy signed – which the NHSIA says demonstrates these practices commitment to the NHSnet security policy and therefore their commitment to joining the network. 24th October 2001 – 8183 (94%) Practices now have an email system installed.