HC Deb 20 March 2002 vol 382 cc434-5W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his policy that there should be one e-mail system through which NHS employees can communicate with each other; and if he will make a statement. [40790]

Ms Blears

Yes. Our programme for modernising the national health service (NHS) as set out in the NHS plan will rely on the provision of efficient and effective information systems to enable the benefits for patients and the public to be achieved. A common e-mail system is one component of this; by opting for a common system across the NHS the maximum benefits of value for money will be obtained. To this end, the NHS information authority is currently conducting a formal open procurement exercise for e-mail and directory services for the NHS. It is expected that subject to successful completion of negotiations a preferred bidder will be announced shortly.