Headlines: November 1st, 1999

Leicestershire and Lincolnshire Health Authorities are connecting 250 doctors’ surgeries and clinics to a network that will link to the national NHSNet. Cable and Wireless was chosen to supply the network because they have two framework contracts with the NHS covering all the services required. The framework contracts allowed them to offer a fast, one month procurement route, compared to the usual twelve months and a one stop shop. By opting for the wall to wall service the Authorities have eliminated the multiple supper cycle of blame which causes extreme problems when things go wrong.The .6m pound project will allow GPs to share patient information , including test results and x-rays and check appointments and budgets with colleagues in hospitals. The aim is to take paperwork out of the system and speed up processes. The time taken to get pathology results back to patients will be halved and because the information will be in an e-mail the handling time spent by the doctor and the receptionist will be reduced. E-mail will also cutthe time now spent in unsuccessful attempts to contact colleagues by telephone. GPs will also have instant access to clinical databases to keep their medical knowledge up to date.