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New IT network for NI practices

Practices in Northern Ireland will be connected to a new

secure IT network linked to other health and social care

organisations from January next year.

The move is part of a £26.7 million investment in IT recently announced by Angela Smith, the minister with responsibility for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Under the scheme, which forms the basis of plans for

an electronic patient record, every patient will get a

10-digit health and care

number.

The number should enable speedier access to data and transfer of information around the NHS.

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