The UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced his technical vision to help build the most advanced health and care system in the world.
The proposals include a modern technology architecture which will be the foundation for a new generation of digital services to meet the needs of our clinicians, patients and managers.
Digital services and IT systems in the NHS will have to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can talk to each other and can be replaced when better technologies are created. These will be mandatory.
Outside those standards, all trusts and CCGs will have freedom to buy what they need. This should encourage competition on user experience and better tools for everyone.
Hancock says that outdated and obstructive NHS IT systems will become a thing of the past.
“This vision transforms NHS technology so it allows appropriate access to real-time data, which will underpin the digital services and data innovations we need. The vision also outlines plans to introduce minimum technical standards so systems can not only talk to each other securely – but are continuously upgradable.
Any system which does not meet these standards will be phased out and the government will look to end contracts with providers which do not understand these principles for the health and care sector.
The changes will secure a brighter future for the health and social care system and is central to unlocking the potential of cutting-edge technologies to support preventative, predictive and personalised care.”
He added, “The tech revolution is coming to the NHS. These robust standards will ensure that every part of the NHS can use the best technology to improve patient safety, reduce delays and speed up appointments.
“A modern technical architecture for the health and care service has huge potential to deliver better services and to unlock our innovations. We want this approach to empower the country’s best innovators — inside and outside the NHS — and we want to hear from staff, experts and suppliers to ensure our standards will deliver the most advanced health and care service in the world.
The standards will formalise the way IT systems can talk to each other, to allow digital services to be built that cross organisational boundaries — for example, bridging a patient’s hospital activity and GP care. This approach allows local organisations to make the right technology choices for their area, whilst also maintaining appropriate and secure data access across the NHS.”
The new tech vision for the NHS, which includes the initial outline for products and suppliers. can be downloaded from the NHS/Gov web site <>.