The secretary of state for health and social care has said he wants 90% of NHS trusts to have an electronic patient record (EPR) in place by December 2023.
Speaking at an event, which was livestreamed over Twitter, Sajid Javid listed his four priorities for transformation in healthcare, including levelling up digital provision.
He referenced recent statistics which revealed one in five NHS trusts do not have an EPR and laid out his plans to improve this.
“EPRs are the essential prerequisite for a modern, digital NHS, without them we cannot achieve the full potential for reform,” he said.
“So, I want to accelerate the roll out of these vital records with a new approach that we hit 90% coverage by December 2023. By then I also want to make sure that the remaining 10% are in the process of implementing them.”
The health secretary also referenced digital care records and said he “wants all social care providers to adopt a digital record for social care”. A recent government white paper committed to ensuring that at least 80% of social care providers have a digitised care record in place by March 2024.
Javid also set targets for the NHS App and said he wanted even more people to be using it.
“This app is now an essential part of life for so many and 24 million people, that is over half of adults in England are now carrying it around in their pocket,” he said.
“But we need to keep this momentum going and so by March 2024 I want this to be 75% of all adults in England.
“To get there we need to show that the app is for life and not just for Covid.”
Another topic spoken by Javid at HSJ’s Digital Transformation Summit was the Data Strategy which sets out how health and care data has been used across the sector.
While the strategy has been published in draft form, the health secretary told the audience that the final version will be “published in Spring”.
Another document which is yet to be released is the Goldacre Review. Led by Dr Ben Goldacre, the review will look into how health data for research and analysis can be used efficiently and safely.
Javid had said he recently received the report and it will be published “soon”.
Closing his address, Javid also announced that a “comprehensive digital health plan” will be published in Spring.
“I want to end by saying I don’t see digital transformation as a flash in the pan, a quick fix in a time of crisis,” he said.
“It is fundamental to the mission to clear the Covid backlog and to the long-term health and happiness of this country. It matters more now than it did when this pandemic began.
“This is not the time to slow down and look in the rear-view mirror, it is the time to accelerate.
“So, I am delighted to announce that in the Spring we will be publishing, for the first time, a comprehensive digital health plan, the next chapter of the story of digital transformation.
“It shows how we will be driving this digital change across all these areas I talked about today and building on the varied lessons from the pandemic.”