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Minister tells NHS to use email, not paper


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told NHS organisations to use email rather than paper and fax machines.

Speaking at an NHS England conference, he said they should be able to use any secure email provider – not just NHSMail – if it meets the required security settings, and that this should be as secure and cheaper than paper.

It is part of the Government’s tech vision for the NHS and comes two months after Hancock (pictured) announced plans to eliminate the use of fax machines in the service.

He said: “Having to deal with outdated technology is hugely frustrating for staff and patients alike – and in many cases downright dangerous. A letter lost in the post could be the difference between life and death.

“There is no reason why a doctor cannot email a patient confidentially, for example with their test results or prescription, rather than make them wait days for a letter or ask them to come into the surgery. The rest of the world runs on email – and the NHS should too.”

Richard Kerr, chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Commission on the Future of Surgery, said it fully supports the ban on fax machines.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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