NHS services must be scalable to cope with changing patient needs

The director of information services at the UK's largest NHS trust this week welcomed the Government's broadband procurement...

The director of information services at the UK's largest NHS trust this week welcomed the Government's broadband procurement plans.

However, he warned that services must be tailored to the specific requirements of the NHS and its patients.

Ted Woodhouse, of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said the initiative "can only be a good thing" but warned that future NHS broadband services must be robust enough to cope with significant transfer of data.

"In the future one can imagine the need to transmit significant quantities of multimedia medical data - that could include images and video from, for example, a diagnostic centre to a treatment centre.

"Broadband services have got to be designed to suit the requirements of the NHS and of the patients it serves," Woodhouse added.

Broadband is at the heart of the Government's high-profile plans to overhaul IT in the NHS, which, with more than a million employees, is one of the world's largest organisations.

Plans for a more efficient health service will be underpinned by IT - backed by a cash boost of £5bn.

Applications such as electronic patient records will require enhanced network bandwidth to move records, which could include images and complex data, around the NHS.

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