If you are not using an NHSNet
terminal, you will need to enter some of the letters from the answers to your questions in a similar way to most internet banking systems.
Within a short space of time, we are told, patients will choose from a short list of potential providers of care when needing treatment beyond that of their general practitioner, and will be able to book the time of their treatment immediately via the new 'NHSnet
', a computer system designed to support this radical change in the direction of policy.
At present the two communication networks, NHSNet
and JANET, do not allow two-way traffic between them.
Over 1.2m NHS staff, 29,000 GPs and 575 trusts use NHS messaging systems (NHSnet
) to communicate via e-mail, and CipherTrust has designed a new NHS IronMail messaging security package.
It will allow doctors to share large data files such as X-rays, which the existing NHSnet
cannot transfer because it operates on a lower bandwidth.
The NHS Information Authority's (NHSIA) national pathology messaging service is the first clinical application of the new NHSnet
infrastructure and ViaCode digital certificates will protect the integrity, accuracy and confidentiality of patient information on the system.
Scotland will be the UK testing ground for NHSnet
, the secure internet system used by health staff.
The UK Government has provided GBP45m to the NHS for use in upgrading its NHSnet
for hospitals, GPs and NHS trusts to broadband.
The Government is commited to spending pounds 1.25 billion on updating hospital IT systems by 2005 - including the roll-out of NHSnet
by March 2002, allowing easy access to medical records.
MILBURN REPLIES: I agree completely and that is why we are putting money into modernising IT and ensuring that hospitals and GPs are all connected to the NHSnet
. This will enable laboratory test results to be emailed direct from the hospital to the GP.
The NHS has plans to introduce NHSmail nationwide so that all of its 1.2m staff can receive an e-mail address and access NHSnet
or the Internet.
It will also help to ensure that by 1999-2000 every computerised GP practice is connected to NHSnet