The Health and Social Care Committee has urged the government “to make further progress on the digitalisation of NHS and care services” as it was revealed that around a fifth of trusts in the NHS are still largely paper based.
Published on January 6, the committee’s report into clearing the backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, made reference to the recent spending review which pledged £2.1billion for technology and data in healthcare.
While the committee “welcomes” these steps, it references the Wade-Gery review which states, “now is the moment to put data, digital and technology at the heart of how we transform health services for the benefit of citizens, patients and NHS staff”.
The report adds: “We urge the Government to use the Wade-Gery report as a platform to make further progress on the digitalisation of NHS and care services.
“As Amanda Pritchard, CEO of NHS England, pointed out “about a fifth of trusts in the NHS are still largely paper based.” This is not acceptable.”
Following recommendations made in the Wade-Gery review, which included the merging of NHS Digital and NHSX with NHS England and Improvement, the committee backs calls for a roadmap for the delivery of these.
“NHS England must produce its roadmap in response to the Wade-Gery report on putting data, digital and tech at the heart of transforming the NHS at the earliest opportunity so that we and others are able to scrutinise it ahead of implementation,” the report concludes.
Also featured in the report is quotes from Dr Andrew Goddard of the Royal College of Physicians, who said that the pandemic had provided “lots of opportunities to transform” but IT architecture in the NHS can be a barrier for innovation.
He added: “An effective IT system throughout the NHS and social care would work wonders.”