Health & Lifestyle

Robots could free up a million NHS days by completing pesky admin tasks, Health Service suggests 

Robots could free up a million NHS days by completing pesky admin tasks, Health Service suggests

  • ‘Robotic process automation’ could handle admin ten times faster than humans

Robots and AI could save a million NHS working days a year and free staff to focus on care, a blueprint for the Health Service says.

Technological improvements could mean that frontline workers would no longer have to waste as much time on administrative tasks, Ministers say.

The blueprint claims ‘robotic process automation’ could handle back-office tasks up to ten times faster than humans, saving 30 per cent in costs and with fewer errors.

It is one of the reforms in the NHS workforce plan, which the Government hopes will save taxpayers £10 billion.

The 15-year scheme sets out radical measures to plug a deficit of up to 360,000 NHS staff by creating an army of junior and apprentice roles, and speeding up clinical training.

Robots and AI could save a million NHS working days a year and free staff to focus on care, a blueprint for the Health Service says. Pictured: Health Secretary Steve Barclay who is said to have pushed for the Health Service to harness technological advances to maximise productivity and speed up patient care

Robots and AI could save a million NHS working days a year and free staff to focus on care, a blueprint for the Health Service says. Pictured: Health Secretary Steve Barclay who is said to have pushed for the Health Service to harness technological advances to maximise productivity and speed up patient care

The blueprint claims 'robotic process automation' could handle back-office tasks up to ten times faster than humans, saving 30 per cent in costs and with fewer errors. It would be done using AI software such as ChatGPT to transcribe doctors' notes

The blueprint claims ‘robotic process automation’ could handle back-office tasks up to ten times faster than humans, saving 30 per cent in costs and with fewer errors. It would be done using AI software such as ChatGPT to transcribe doctors’ notes

It states: ‘If all trusts implemented processes that have been ‘time-validated’, this could save more than 7.2 million hours annually, equivalent to over 965,000 working days released.

‘Over the next ten years, this could be nearer 22 million hours saved, equivalent to more than 2.9 million working days released.’

The plan – which comes ahead of the 75th anniversary of the NHS on Wednesday – pledges to find ways to harness technology, with increasing use of artificial intelligence and robotics in diagnostics and administration.

It means patients could in future meet ‘robot receptionists’ to schedule appointments and operations alongside the use of AI software such as ChatGPT to transcribe doctors’ notes.

It is one of the reforms in the NHS workforce plan, which the Government hopes will save taxpayers £10 billion

It is one of the reforms in the NHS workforce plan, which the Government hopes will save taxpayers £10 billion

MPs on the Commons Health and Social Care Committee have warned that technology in the NHS is so outdated it can take doctors 15 minutes simply to log on to their work computer. 

Health Secretary Steve Barclay is said to have pushed for the Health Service to harness technological advances to maximise productivity and speed up patient care.

The report is expected to set out how software ‘bots’ can be used to carry out patient bookings, flag test results and analyse patient referrals. This would reduce the workload of medical secretaries so more of their time is spent interacting with patients.

Mr Barclay has already announced a £21 million fund to use AI to speed up diagnosis.

It will harness ‘machine learning’ to analyse lung X-rays, diagnose cancer and ensure rapid diagnosis of strokes.

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