§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many hospitals have had computers installed in them; and what schemes there are to train hospital staff in their use.
§ Mr. John Patten
Figures on the number of hospitals which have computers installed are not centrally available. There are a large number and a wide variety of computers in use in hospitals. These range from the large machines providing administrative servies to districts or hospitals to small computers dedicated to particular functions for example in pathology departments.
User training schemes are at two levels: computer appreciation courses funded from the NHS central training Vote and courses provided by regional health authorities. The former are primarily designed for senior staff such as senior nursing officers and treasurers but other courses are under consideration. Those organised on a regional basis range from general awareness courses to seminars designed to meet specific requirements for a wide range of staff. Computer training libraries are maintained by three regions which provide a range of facilities for the use of all regions.