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- Today’s tech priorities: Exclusive: Tech priorities for the long term plan
The estimate, which equates to between £2.1bn and £2.8bn per year, forms part of technology and digital workstream being developed for the plan.
There are caveats around these figures but, if accepted, it would be an even bigger investment in technology than the much maligned National Programme for IT.
HSJ understands the focus of the proposed programmes includes finishing the digitalising of all hospitals, boosting the collection and analysis of NHS data, and creating new digital patient services, particularly for self care.
NHS England’s response when approached about the figure was acerbic, suggesting it may be a little premature to declare NPfIT 2.0 quite yet.
A spokesman said: “Unsurprisingly various organisations and sectors will lobby for their own agendas, but equally obviously as many across the NHS have pointed out, there is a need to be completely realistic about what can be afforded over what timelines.”
We will have to wait until the plan is fleshed out over the coming months too see which parts of this ambitious technology wish list will be funded.
A human touch
The General Medical Council has had a bruising year. It has lost the confidence of many doctors with its aggressive pursuit of fitness to practise appeals including the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.
A sad fact is the NHS continually attempts to avoid addressing these bigger issues but now the GMC investigators are to get human factors training to try and understand the wider context of a case against a doctor.
This is a smart move if it leads to intelligent investigations but the question has to be what the GMC will do if its investigators start to regularly and repeatedly conclude the system is to blame for medical error?