NHS technologyThe NHS has been given an extra £240m to develop technology that enables staff to provide safer patient care with less bureaucracy, according to Sky News.

The Government money is on top of a £260m e-prescribing budget announced by the Department of Health earlier this year. Hospitals and other NHS organisations will also add £500m to the technology fund. Much of the money will be spent on systems that allow hospitals, GP surgeries and out-of-hours doctors share access to patients' electronic medical records.

The Department of Health said doctors, nurses and social care workers will be able to provide emergency care with full knowledge of a patient's medical and care history.

It should stop drugs being prescribed incorrectly and prevent patients having to repeat their medical history to a chain of health professionals.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "It is simply maddening to hear stories of elderly dementia patients turning up at A&E with no-one able to access their medical history.

"That's why I've set the NHS the challenge of going paperless by 2018. "The public are rightly sceptical about NHS IT after the failures of the past but we can't let past failures hold patients back from seeing the benefits of the technology revolution that is transforming services all around us." The £1bn technology fund will also allow all patients to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online by March 2015. Patients will also be able to access their GP record.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust uses software to track patients' progress through A&E. Staff also use tablets to access patients records, reducing medical errors.

Chief Executive Dame Julie Moore said: "It's encouraging that the Government are placing such a priority on improving technology in the NHS, and backing hospitals to become more hi-tech.

"Technology has been key to helping us improve safety and drive up standards for patients in Birmingham." 

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information for NHS England said: "A single patient record will help make the patient journey from hospital to home seamless, giving professionals from different health and care organisations access to information when they need it most, without patients having to repeat themselves every time they speak to a different doctor, nurse or care professional."