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NHS to bring in tech specialists to tackle 8am rush

NHS to bring in tech specialists to tackle 8am rush
By Jess Hacker
2 November 2023

NHS England is seeking tech specialists to tackle the ‘8am rush’ for GP appointments.

Tech suppliers have been invited to tender for its Digital Pathways Framework intended to enhance practices’ ability to provide online consultations and patient communication.

The framework comes as part of a suite of commercial frameworks intended to allow buyers to purchase standardish digital systems, NHS England said.

 It also includes proposals for systems to improve management of bookings, messaging and consultations, in addition to potential to enhance prescription ordering for patients, video consultations and cross-organisation bookings.

Earlier this year, the Government announced general practices would be given £240m to implement new technology, expected to cover a four year period from January 2024.

NHS England’s director of digital primary care, Mark Sayers said: ‘Surgeries with modern messaging, online booking, and video consultation systems find they have more capacity and less of an 8am rush, while giving patients a convenient way to get the help they need.

‘I’d encourage all suppliers to come forward who are able to provide the high-quality tools and technology needed to support our vision for modern general practice.’

And health minister Neil O’Brien said: ‘As well as growing staff numbers in GPs by 30% since 2019, we are also investing £240 million to give GPs the latest technology. We are working to abolish the 8am rush and make it easier to see your GP in a convenient way.’

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