The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is hoping to improve the quality of digital healthcare services by upgrading the internet at hospitals, GP surgeries and community care services. All of these NHS organisations will have their internet upgraded to the fastest broadband, full fibre connectivity.
Research shows that around 40% of NHS organisations are relying on the internet through copper lines which can make the internet slow and undependable. As a result, it can restrict the number and quality of digital services available for patients.
The upgrade to fibre optic broadband falls under the NHS Long Term Plan which hopes to improve the number of digital services available to patients. The New Long Term Plan promises to increase the digital offering for patients including giving patients the right to chose a ‘digital first’ approach. This could include video consultations or online appointments. Better broadband will help to facilitate these consultations and provide high definition images quickly.
Improved digital services will also include storing patient records on the cloud so that clinicians are able to access the right medical information from anywhere in the country. This can improve treatment time, patient safety and speed up appointments too.
Matt Hancock believes the NHS is being let down by the use of unreliable technology such as outdated internet connectivity. Speaking of the announcement he says; “Faster broadband connections can help us deliver these dramatic improvements – we need clinicians and other healthcare professionals to feel confident they can access fast, reliable broadband so they can provide patients with the best possible care.”
Article source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-hospitals-and-gp-practices-to-get-fibre-optic-internet
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