• New secretary of state says £20bn settlement is “contingent” on deploying modernising technology
  • NHS needs to reverse the tendency for technology to increase costs
  • Matt Hancock “determined” that new funding should not be consumed by provider debts

The new health and social care secretary says the £20bn of additional funding provided by the government will be “contingent” on the NHS adopting the latest technology.

Speaking during a visit to West Suffolk Hospital this morning, Matt Hancock said the ten-year plan now being developed for the health service will have the “adoption of the best technology underpinning the whole thing.”

He added that the NHS also needs to reverse the tendency for technology to increase costs.

In his speech, Mr Hancock announced £412m of long-awaited technology funding for sustainability and transformation partnerships.

He added: “This money is just the start. The entire £20bn proposed for the NHS will be contingent on modern technological transformation…

“In every other sector innovation reduces waste and drives cost down not up. We’ve got make that happen across the health and care system too.

“I want to see technology that releases funding to save lives elsewhere.”

Setting out his priorities for technology, alongside workforce and prevention, Mr Hancock also;

  • said he wanted to eliminate the use of faxes in the NHS during his tenure;
  • said technology suppliers that did not meet NHS needs in the future would be NHS suppliers “no longer”;
  • announced a further £75m specifically for electronic prescribing in hospitals;
  • said technology such as bar coding will improve patient safety while reducing costs;
  • and; said the NHS needs to end its “huge variance” in the take-up of transformational technology, which had a direct impact of patient outcomes.
  • He would link NHS Choices’ advice to the voice function in Amazon’s alexa

Meanwhile, Mr Hancock said he was determined that the extra funding provided by the government would not be consumed on servicing provider debts.

It comes after HSJ reported on Friday that NHS trust debts to Department of Health and Social Care had hit £11bn, overtaking PFI liabilities.