The Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman MP, has announced that the existing Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) organisation will be changing to NHS Digital.
Freeman made the announcement at Olympia, London.
During his 30 minute keynote speech on the subject, Freeman outlined the role that NHS Digital will play.
“I am delighted to announce that HSCIC will move to NHS Digital, harnessing technology for modern healthcare and a 21st century NHS. This will give us an opportunity to share what some of the major priorities are over the next few years.”
Freeman also explained the importance of the digital era, and how it could benefit both patients and members of staff in the NHS.
In particular, the minister made comparisons with Crossrail; the new high frequency, high capacity railway for London and the South East.
“I firmly believe the precision drilling going on under London is similar to what we are trying to do. We haven’t delivered to patients properly which is a real challenge for us. We are making progress. We want to create a health environment, business environment fit for the 21st century allowing you to experience the extraordinary developments we are making. We need to harness technology to empower patients, drive patient safety and research.”
The NHS has made a commitment to a digital transformation, and Freeman claimed that other European nations in particular are looking to the UK as an example of what can be achieved.
“People look at the UK and see something happening. New innovative devices are being processed, along with life-changing digital drugs such as the Proteus Pill and extraordinary convergence is changing the landscape.”
The minister explained that the NHS is on a “profound journey” and the Five Year Forward View, he believes, “sets out a powerful vision to improve many areas”.
In addition to the digital transformation in the NHS, the health service is also attempting to achieve a paperless organisation of health services by the end of the decade.
Freeman also took time in his speech to speak about the legislative procedure relating to this aim.
“We will set out milestones to complete the vision for Personalised Health and Care 2020. We are determined to create a business environment that is conducive to digital health companies and we want the UK to become a global cluster for digital health companies.”
Freeman was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences in July 2014.
This role is shared between the Department of Health and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.