NHS hospitals must have electronic patient records by 2014
22 January 2013
NHS trusts have been told to get electronic patient records systems in place by April of 2014.
Tim Kelsey, a director on NHS Commissioning Board, the body which now holds the purse strings for the health service, made the comment just days after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had called for a paperless NHS by 2018.
"We've said that by April 2014 we are expecting a flow of data out of hospital electronic records, and this clearly implies trusts must have electronic records in place," Kelsey told the eHealth Insider
Kelsey, the director for patients and information, was previously the government's transparency tsar and has been driving forward a data revolution in the NHS.
In December he told a digital by default
conference that paperless referrals would come into place across the NHS by 2015 and warned about the dangers of holding patient records in "tatty folders" and thousands of manila envelopes.
Patients across the health service were due to receive electronic patient records under the National Programme for IT
. But the multi-billion pound programme was dismantled by coalition ministers after the realisation that the large scale IT project had failed to deliver on this core aim. Local options for the NHS were seen as a better way forward.
In his January call for a paperless health service, Jeremy Hunt
said it was unacceptable that "GPs and hospitals still struggle to share digital records". Patients should be given digital records so their information could be seen by doctors and other medical professionals across the health service, he said.