NHS Told to Embrace Modern Tech Solution "Email" to Directly Message Patients

By Gary Cutlack on at

The innovative new communications protocol of email should be used as the default option within the NHS, says health secretary Matt Hancock, in news that should really have come via a fax machine regional bulletin from 1996.

But no, this is the new thinking of today's governmental NHS overseer, who explained what email is and how it works at least eight times in his speech to an NHS England conference; displaying all the enthusiasm of someone who's just discovered something everyone's been using for 20 years.

Hancock said: "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."

This is yet more ammunition to be used in the War on Faxes that's been raging in the boring office bits of the NHS for years, as numerous NHS Trust captains try to steer their slow-moving ships away from using paper-based communications. Please tell them not to attach 15MB PDFs, though. That'd only make things worse. [GOV via Techradar]