§ Dr. Evan Harris
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets have been set for NHS staff to have access to email; what the baseline was for the target; in which document the target was published; and what progress has been made towards the target. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The Government's strategy document "Building the Information Core—Implementing the NHS Plan" published in 2000 set the target of March 2003 for all National Health Service staff to have access to email. This target is now reflected in the National Programme for Information Technology in the NHS that provides a new approach to delivering IT in the NHS.
At 31 March 2003 NHS trusts reported via the information for health tracking database that 79 per cent. of all NHS staff (822,000 of a total of 1,037,000) had access to email and web browsing. Priority had been given to staff directly involved in the patient care process, so that 98 per cent. of consultants (28,600 of 28,700) and 82 per cent. of clinical staff (602,000 of 732,000, including consultants) had connectivity by that date.