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Health written question – answered on 1st February 2002.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the timetable for ERDIP sites to submit proposals under the Modernisation Enabling Project; and what plans he has to invite tenders from outside the Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme on electronic access to patient records.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The modernisation enabling projects identify gaps within the electronic record development and implementation programme (ERDIP). These pieces of work will be for a short timescale and with a minimum amount of funding as a major investment has already been made within the ERDIP programme. These sites have already received various amounts of funding over and above health authority allocations. The Department is currently considering a small number of sites that can do additional work linked to NHS Plan priorities that can be delivered by the 5 April 2002.

ERDIP is a national co-ordination programme, which seeks to develop solutions to national problems. The purpose of setting up the demonstrator communities was to: demonstrate the achievements in improving health and healthcare through making faster progress in their plans to modernise care, and demonstrating robust techniques and good practice reproducible on a national basis; act as a focus for the identification, definition and testing of standards and good practice; raise awareness of what is possible, and the health and healthcare benefits that can be achieved; and provide learning and feedback for the wider National Health Service community. The two patient access sites at Bury Knowle and Hadfield are an integral part of this programme.

A key element of the information management and technology strategy is to enable health communities to make decisions on procurement of software and hardware based on existing systems and reflecting local circumstances. The Government are supporting the NHS in this by ensuring that the additional money allocated for the implementation of the targets in 'Information for Health, Building the Information Core' and the NHS Plan reaches the level at which the decisions are taken. A majority of the money therefore goes out as part of health authority allocations.

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