Hospital staff will get tablets... of the technological kind after green light for major IT upgrade

Doctors will have two types of tablets at their disposal after the major IT upgrade
Doctors will have two types of tablets at their disposal after the major IT upgrade

Hospitals in Hemel Hempstead and Watford will have their IT facilities brought bang up to date after getting the green light to roll out a series of technological improvements.

The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has given the go-ahead for Hemel, Watford and St Albans hospitals to move forward with plans to dramatically improve IT.

A raft of changes, the estimated cost of which cannot be publicised as the plans are still at the procurement stage, will be introduced with investment to replace computers and other IT equipment, a more reliable IT support service including a new 24/7 helpdesk for nurses, doctors and other staff who have IT problems some of the highlights. 

The hospitals will also have faster networks, improved telephone systems and increased IT security to support staff caring for patients and share information quickly and securely. Staff will also get access to the latest technology including mobile devices such as tablets and wifi, while patients will also get free internet access.

Samantha Jones, chief executive said: “This is great news for our hospitals, our patients and our staff.  Our current IT systems are very old and are becoming more and more difficult for staff to use.  They can be slow and it’s hard for us to connect them to the latest software.

“Our plans will radically overhaul the way we use IT with staff having access to the latest technology, including mobile devices such as tablets.  We will also increase our use of wifi, including giving free access to patients.   

“The benefits of the plan are wide reaching, including speeding up the time we are able to see and treat patients.  It will also make sure our systems are as secure as they possibly can be.

“Receiving approval from the NHS TDA is great news and means we can move forward with providing this enhanced service.  We hope to be able to announce further details soon.”

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. The Trust is made up of Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. The Trust is one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.