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NHSnet goes Broadband
17 January 2003

Health Minister Lord Hunt yesterday announced a £45 million investment into the NHS's information infrastructure to upgrade NHSnet - the network connecting hospitals, GP surgeries and NHS Trusts - to broadband.

The contract, awarded jointly to telecommunications companies British Telecom and Cable & Wireless will help to facilitate the roll-out of important applications such as e-Booking, e-Prescribing and e-Records, key elements of the NHS Information Authority's (NHSIA) national programme to deliver integrated IT to the NHS. The greater network capacity and speed will make it easier for health institutions to exchange information faster and more reliably, as well as offering staff better access to essential information and e-Learning tools.

Commenting on the announcement, Lord Hunt said: "I am very pleased to see improvements to NHSnet. Broadband access will make a significant contribution to services designed to improve patient care and will give health staff the increased bandwidth needed to deliver the services people want. It's another mark of the progress being made to implement our IT programme."

Funded by the NHSIA, the upgrade will supply all GP surgeries a 256k fixed link and all Acute and Primary Care Trusts a 2Mb connection. The improvements are set to begin immediately and will be completed by March 2004.

Read the Department of Health announcement in full

Read the Cable & Wireless press release in full

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