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Independents' Day

Board to aim for ‘paperless NHS’

The director of information for the NHS Commissioning Board has said it is his aim to create a paperless NHS.

Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at the NHS Commissioning Board, said the NHS had to catch up with other workplaces.

‘Every NHS hospital currently deals with mountains of paper every day, with enormous piles of patient notes wheeled around the corridors in trolleys,’ he said.

‘Outside that environment, there has been a revolution in data management: the first internet banks launched just 12 years ago, and they seemed strange and unfamiliar then, but now the vast majority of Britain’s banking is carried out online.’

This was something that the NHS should follow, he said.

‘I am determined to build that same revolution in the NHS: no more lost notes, no more waiting around while piles of paperwork are hauled up from cavernous record rooms. And most importantly, empowerment of patients themselves to access their own health records at any time.

‘The establishment of the new commissioning system gives us an opportunity like no other to do that, and it is my mission to make it happen,’ he added.

Readers' comments (3)

  • The commissiong board should speak to Apple or another table provider and get massive discounts so that we could all move to paperless meetings etc

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  • This will only stand as chnace of working if the Board accepts that large swathes of patients exist outside the tradionla scope of "doctors hospitals and nurses" which is all the DH see m to think the NHS consists of. A paperless NHS will require full integration of aspects of NHS work such as optometry, physiotherapy, dentistry and may many others facets of clinmical practice where NHS patients are seen. Traditionally so many of these areas are ignored when IT infrastrucutre is planned and so very often modern care pathways fail because there is no adequate compatible IT infrastrucutre in place. Optometrists now routinel refer patients direct to eye clinics under their NHS contract. Do they have access to an IT infrastrucutre to do this? No way. Do they operate Choose and Book? No they can't. I would simply ask has Tim Kelsey stopped to think of what will be required to link up the vast numbers of clinicians never previously linked? My guess is not.

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  • That will be good, because I will be able to spend my entire life attached to a screen rather than just most of it.

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