NHS staff encouraged to use email

HEALTH and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock wants the NHS to stop relying on pen and paper use more secure forms of digital communication instead, such as email.

He has outlined an ambition for healthcare staff to email patients directly with information on appointments to reduce delays, boost cyber security and cut wastage.

The Department of Heath Social Care has said that NHS organisations will be able to use any secure email provider – not just NHSMail – if it meets the required security settings. This is meant to empower NHS bodes to choose the best service for their needs and encourage innovation.

The Government has announced that digital services and IT systems will soon have to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can "talk to each other" across organisational boundaries and be continuously upgraded. It is has said that any system not meeting these standards will be phased out and contracts ended with the provider.

The move is part of Mr Hancock’s tech vision for the NHS.