McDermott Comment | Sajid Javid: Digital Health is a Long-term Commitment for the NHS


In an address on Twitter, he also announced that a comprehensive digital health plan will be published this Spring, which will set out the “next chapter of the story of digital transformation”. This plan proposes to accelerate the use of digital health tools such as “virtual wards” and home monitoring systems adopted during the pandemic.

He also announced ambitious targets for: the increased adoption of electronic patient records, requiring implementation by 90% of all Trusts by the end of 2023 (currently 20% of Trusts do not use electronic patient care records); the adoption of digital care records by 80% of social care providers (currently 40% are estimated to have digital care records in place by 2024); and the increasing use of the NHS App for adults in England (from 50% of the adult population to 75% by March 2024).

Commenting on Sajid Javid’s announcement, David Gibson, Senior Associate at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, said:

“EPR systems are essential for the effective adoption of medtech and digital health tools across systems. Given funding constraints, business case approval and procurement lead times and the prospect of increased cyber-attacks, these targets are ambitious. Further, given the widely publicized funding and staffing issues affecting social care, it is also unclear how new electronic record systems will be funded in this sector. At the same time, NHS bodies will be making wide system-changes to their organisations and leadership to reflect the new statutory bodies that are proposed under the Health and Care Bill which is still going through Parliament.”


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