BMA report

NHS technology, infrastructure and data report

Our vision and recommendations for improving IT infrastructure in the NHS.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020
Topics: NHS delivery and workforce
NHS Structure Article Illustration

Getting information and technology right is fundamental to the future sustainability of the NHS, better patient outcomes and manageable staff workloads.

Deficiencies result in additional staff workload and stress, compromised patient safety, plus frustration at the increasing amount of attention being given to innovations such as artificial intelligence.

Whilst they are keen to be heavily involved, doctors wish to prioritise functioning, interoperable systems.


What you'll get from this guide

  • The BMA's vision for IT in the NHS, in response to DHSC's own vision and commitments made in the NHS long term plan.
  • Results and analysis of a BMA member survey on NHS IT and infrastructure.
  • BMA recommendations on how to improve IT and infrastructure, to allow better patient care and reduce workload.


Key recommendations

  • Prioritising the digitisation of all patient records swiftly and safely.
  • Digitising both primary and secondary care at the same time to enable system developers to build interoperability into all systems.
  • Ensuring enough new, ring-fenced resources for digital transformation to enable upgraded and new IT systems.
  • Developing national minimum IT standards (eg interoperability, efficiency, improvements in care).
  • Making digital health care a requirement of medical training and education for existing and future doctors.
  • The effect of better IT
  • Interoperability
  • Digitisation of patient records
  • Reduction of IT failures
  • E-rostering systems
  • Patient facing technologies
  • IT investment
  • Minimum IT standards
  • Training and education
  • Engagement