The NHS must focus IT developments on better efficiency, chief executives have been told.

The operating framework said organisations should increase use of the choose and book system “to improve efficiency and patient experience” and publish and share informatics costs. It also said trusts should “strengthen [the] foundations” already in place, for example by rolling out the summary care record.

Health secretary Andy Burnham announced last week that he is in talks with national programme for IT providers about reducing the overall cost of the NHS IT programme by £600m.

Mr Burnham said: “That means that we will now pare back the programme to the core elements that have been identified as critical by clinicians.

“Our aim is to give trusts more flexibility and choice.”

He said this could include electronic prescribing; enabling local innovation by linking national systems with those of local service providers; and allowing the NHS to design IT systems to fit its local needs.

It is unclear yet which parts of the programme will be scrapped. Mr Burnham said details could not be revealed as talks were “sensitive and ongoing”.