RCGP publishes tech manifesto instructing health secretary to ‘get the basics right first’
The professional body for GPs across the UK has instructed health secretary Matt Hancock that his desired technology-led “revolution” cannot come to pass until doctors’ surgeries are equipped with basic IT infrastructure that is fit for purpose.
The Royal College of General Practitioners has published a tech manifesto calling on Hancock to focus on the need tp “urgently ensure all practices are equipped with systems and facilities that are fit for the future”. The organisation claims that four in five GPs “could soon be using outdated IT systems that are not suitable for the demands of future care”.
The RCGP wants all practices to benefit from modern facilities, with access to digital tools and platforms. To achieve this, it is making two core recommendations for GPs’ IT.
- Hancock bans pagers from NHS in latest salvo against ageing tech
- ‘Tech transformation is coming’ – Hancock unveils £475m digitisation fund in first speech as health secretary
- Matt Hancock bans fax machines from the NHS
The first of which is that all doctors should be able to connect to secure high-speed broadband. The second recommendation is that GPs ought to be able to access “a single shared electronic patient record which documents patient interactions throughout the NHS”, the RCGP said.
The organisation’s chair Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “GPs have always embraced new technology. General practice was the first NHS sector to have electronic prescribing and electronic patient records, so we know how beneficial new technology can be and we recognise its huge potential to help our patients. GPs want the latest, cutting-edge tech at our disposal but we need the basics to work first. That means everything from making sure that our computers don’t crash while issuing a prescription, to making sure our systems talk to those in all hospitals so that we can improve the care and experience that our patients receive throughout the NHS.”
She added: “We want the NHS to be a world leader in technology, and we are ready for a new wave of exciting opportunities which have the potential to revolutionise patient care, but a lot of work is needed before that can happen, and we need to ensure sure that these opportunities are embraced safely and sustainably with GPs at the centre of changes.”