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£40 million announced to reduce NHS staff login times

The time taken to log in to computer programmes is said to be one of the main technology frustrations facing NHS staff. The £40 million investment announced by the government into frontline technology will improve how staff access computer systems, saving time and easing the administrative burden on staff so more time can be spent focusing on patient care.


Currently, NHS staff may have to log in to multiple computer programmes, each requiring its own login details. Some staff need to log into as many as 15 different systems, remembering multiple complex passwords, or using the same one on multiple systems, which is potentially a cybersecurity risk.


The investment will support projects similar to that seen at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, which implemented single sign-on technology and reduced time spent logging into multiple computer systems from 1 minute 45 seconds to just 10 seconds.

With almost 5,000 logins a day, it saved over 130 hours of staff time.


Standardising logins and introducing initiatives such as finger print access instead of password-led logins, integrating local and national systems so staff can access the workforce systems they need and ensuring Trusts update their processes are all priorities of the ‘logins project’.


To bridge the technology gap between the NHS and social care, a further £4.5 million will be given to local authorities to develop digital adult social care projects to support the most vulnerable in society to live independently for longer and improve information sharing across the NHS and social care.


This money might fund developments in artificial intelligence, create shared care records and allow information held by a care home to smoothly integrate into hospital IT systems.



New ‘digital aspirant’ programme


This initiative aims to further improve the digital capability of NHS Trusts, providing funding over several years to assist with digital transformation projects so that Trusts can provide safe, high-quality and efficient care.


The programme will aim to raise the bar across the NHS by making sure organisations have a core set of capabilities in place.



Model of excellence


The Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, will also commit to designing a model of what excellence looks like, so that every provider – from mental health Trusts to care homes – knows what they need to do to be outstanding on technology in the 2020s.


This will be assessed as part of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection regime, with Trusts expected to meet minimum technology standards.


Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock says it is time to banish outdated technology and “get the basics right” to achieve the dual ambition of improving patient care and easing the burden on staff.


“It is frankly ridiculous how much time our doctors and nurses waste logging on to multiple systems. As I visit hospitals and GP practices around the country, I’ve lost count of the amount of times staff complain about this. It’s no good in the 21st century having 20th century technology at work. This investment is committed to driving forward the most basic frontline technology upgrades, so treatment can be delivered more effectively and we can keep pace with the growing demand on the NHS.”