• NHS chief exec calls for health IT shake-up

Sir David Daltron, chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, has warned that the way the NHS buys and deploys IT must change.

Speaking to a parliamentary health select committee as part of an inquiry into 2015’s healthcare spending review, Sir David said: “Too often the NHS procures IT in the wrong way and continues to implement systems that do not deliver the expected results.”

He added that the NHS must tackle a ‘colossal’ financial challenge, and that technology is a “key enabler of successful transformation.”

Since the UK’s most recent general election, the NHS has been promised an extra £8.4 billion above inflation by the end of this Parliament. However, due to the government’s redefinition of what constitutes NHS spending, the health select committee estimates that “total health spending will [in fact] increase by £4.5 billion in real terms by 2021.”

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is one of the ‘vanguard’ projects which form the ‘Five Year Forward View’ plan. The plan aims to narrow the gap between funding and demand, which, if left unaddressed, is expected to reach £30 billion by 2021.

Sir David told the committee that at Salford he favoured, “a hub and spoke approach, rather than every trust retaining its independent approach to digital improvement.” His comments reflect an aim to break down barriers between healthcare organisations.