New technology is key to making NHS the world's best

Matt Hancock has vowed to “bring the NHS into the 21st century”

Matt Hancock has vowed to “bring the NHS into the 21st century” Credit Rui Vieira PA

GPs, social care, pharmacies and community care are on different systems.

He also mentioned that the NHS is still one of the largest buyers of fax machines in the world and that, despite its "chequered history" with IT, opportunities from technologies such as artificial intelligence means we are now capable of a serious digital overhaul.

More than £200m will also be invested to transform a group of NHS trusts into centres for technological and digital innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

"CAR-T therapy is a true game-changer, and NHS cancer patients are now going to be amongst the first in the world to benefit", he said.

The app is due to be rolled out nationally in December.

An NHS app that allows patients to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions on their phones will start pilots next month, Mr Hancock said. The funding would support GDEs in acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England, with the hope that these would inspire others to innovate and produce services of a similar standard.

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"The NHS infrastructure is stronger and moving in the right direction".

The Technology Partnerships Code of Conduct sets out 10 principles that outline how the government expects AI tech firms to work with the NHS to make it easier for them, but also the NHS's expectations if patient data is used.

Matt Hancock has made bringing NHS IT "into the 21st century" his most high-profile task as he promises today that he will use better technology to improve care.

Shadow health secretary Johnathan Ashworth said it was "astonishing" that rather than prioritising dealing with staff shortages or ever-growing waiting lists in the NHS, "the health secretary is insisting new IT systems must be paid for by already over-stretched budgets".

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, welcomed the announcement. We need to make the most of that money. "That has to change, and we all have to accept that it will challenge working practices and those who constantly find reasons why we should not adopt new ways of delivering care". As patients, data is our friend not our enemy helping the health service devise better more targeted services. But evidence needn't be expensive: we must also use the power of data, and software, to make it easier for innovators to assess the impact of their tools on real-world outcomes, in real-world data.

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