Hospital trusts in the South of England are to receive digital x-ray technology to speed up patient diagnosis and reduce waiting times.

It is estimated that the technology will save around£6.2m in the first year of service, which equates to an average of£250,000 for each trust in the South East and London.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said: 'Hospitals will no longer have to pay for film, doctors will be able to diagnose treatment quicker and patients will receive faster, better service.'