- Government injects nearly £250 million to digitise diagnostics care across the NHS using the latest technology
- Funding will allow hospital labs to share patient results, tests and scans more easily and quickly between different hospitals and doctors, reducing the time it takes to diagnose a health problem
- It aims to drive up efficiency by saving staff time, and comes as part of the government’s ambition to tackle waiting lists and speed up routine treatment for patients
The NHS will receive £248 million over the next year to invest in technology that will deliver more diagnostic tests, checks and scans to help provide faster diagnosis of a health condition, earlier treatment and reduce waiting lists.
The investment will reduce the administrative burden on NHS staff so they can analyse more tests, checks and scans while also reducing the turnaround time from a patient taking a test to receiving a diagnosis and then starting treatment.
Diagnostics services across the NHS will be digitalised using the latest technology to improve the way tests, images and results can be shared across computer systems in hospitals, labs and GP surgeries. It means the nurses, doctors and other clinicians caring for a patient can access these results more quickly and easily, even if they are working from different settings.
The new technology will allow imaging specialists – the experts analysing a scan or x-ray and providing a diagnosis – to review high-res images remotely without needing to be in an imaging lab, 24 hours a day.
The funding will also provide a new tool to help GPs and other clinicians choose the most suitable scan for their patient based on the patient’s symptoms and medical history. This will cut inappropriate requests made to radiology departments, saving radiologists’ time and ensuring patients get the right scans at the right time.
It follows the recommendations from Professor Sir Mike Richards’ independent review of NHS diagnostics capacity showing improving digitisation should be prioritised to drive efficiency and deliver seamless care.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Today’s multi-million pound investment will play a big role in levelling up diagnostics services across the country so patients can get faster results and healthcare professionals can get their job done more easily, reducing unnecessary administrative burden and making every taxpayer’s pound count.
Getting a faster diagnosis for a health condition is the first step to getting more people the treatment they need and earlier on, …….