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  1. ITV Report

Health Secretary sets out £4.2bn investment for a 'paperless NHS'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to create a 'paperless' NHS. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to out a £4.2bn investment to create a "paperless NHS" and bring the service into the digital age.

Mr Hunt claims the investment will make services more convenient, help clinicians provide faster diagnoses and lead to more time spent caring for patients.

Full details of the funding are still being agreed between the Department of Health and NHS England, but are expected to include £1.8 billion to create a paper-free NHS and remove outdated technology like fax machines.

£1 billion is expected to be earmarked for cyber security and data consent and £750 million to transform out-of-hospital care, medicines, and digitalise social, urgent and emergency care.

Meanwhile, around £400 million will enable the NHS to build a new website, NHS.uk, develop apps and provide free wi-fi in all NHS buildings.

The government is also developing a new click and collect service for prescriptions.

The NHS has the opportunity to become a world leader in introducing new technology - which means better patient outcomes and a revolution in healthcare at home.

On the back of a strong economy, and because of our belief in the NHS and its values, we are investing more than £4 billion across the health system to ease pressure on the frontline and create stronger partnerships between doctor and patient.

– Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Under the plans everyone will have access to their own electronic health record, which will be shared between professionals to prevent patients from having to repeat their medical history.

Patients will also be given the opportunity to upload and send real-time data to medical professionals on long-term conditions such as blood pressure.

By 2020, it is hoped that 25% of all patients with long term conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer will be able to monitor their health remotely.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: "Any investment in technology is welcome but it's unclear how much, if any, of this money is actually new.

"Rather than re-hashing old announcements, Jeremy Hunt needs to be telling the public how he intends to sort out the crisis facing our NHS.

"The Tories cannot hide from the fact that the NHS is going backwards on their watch. Hospital departments have become dangerously full, patients are waiting hours in A&E, and the health service is facing the worst financial crisis in a generation."