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2017 news archive

View our news stories from 2017.

Boost to patient records cuts burden on NHS

27 December, 2017: Increasing the amount of information held in electronic Summary Care Records is improving care and helping to ease winter pressures.

12 days of NHS Choices

​​​​​​​22 December, 2017: Christmas is the season of giving and goodwill and this year NHS Digital is giving away stats, stats and more stats!

Electronic prescribing to be piloted in integrated urgent care

21 December, 2017: A pilot use of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in selected integrated urgent care settings has been launched, NHS Digital1 has announced.

First primary care provider and third sector organisation go live with HSCN

14 December, 2017: The first primary care provider and third sector organisation have successfully connected to the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

NHS Digital publishes dementia and antipsychotic drug prescription data for first time

15 December, 2017: NHS Digital has published for the first-time data that shows the levels of prescribing antipsychotic drugs to dementia patients.

Household survey shows more men than women meet physical activity guidelines.

13 December 2017: Nearly two thirds of men (66 per cent) met national aerobic activity guidelines in 2016 compared to 58 per cent of women2, according to NHS Digital figures released today.

Delayed discharge funding opened to local authorities

6 December 2017: To help reduce delayed discharges, NHS Digital has announced £1.4m funding for local authorities and their NHS partners to integrate their patient discharge from hospital into local authority social care process.

Registered Blind and Partially Sighted Report Published

7 December 2017: A report which includes the numbers of newly registered blind and partially sighted people in England during the 2016/17 financial year has been published today by NHS Digital.

#DigitalReady workforce consultation

NHS Digital and Health Education England are calling on people who work in health and care to participate in their #DigitalReady online consultation.

​​​​​​​Mental health statistics annual report includes information on children for first time

30 November, 2017: A breakdown of statistics on young people who have been referred for treatment or assessment1 with mental health services in England has been published today by NHS Digital2.

Dynamic Purchasing System to give simple and convenient access to HSCN services

27 November, 2017: NHS Digital and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) have created a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to give providers a simple and convenient access to companies that supply Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) services.

Annual outpatients activity report published

28 November, 2017: The Hospital Outpatient Activity, 2016/17 report has been published today by NHS Digital.

New cyber security service to boost NHS protection

27 November 2017: NHS Digital has today announced a £20m project to boost its ability to support the NHS with its data security.

CareCERT uses SMS alerts to boost NHS communications for cyber incidents

23 November, 2017: NHS Digital has established an additional effective system to deliver essential cyber security updates across the whole NHS.

NHS Digital launches Sustainable Development Management Plan

21 November, 2017: NHS Digital has outlined ambitious targets to reduce its carbon footprint following the launch of the Sustainable Development Management Plan.

Safeguarding Adults Annual Report published

A report presenting information about adult safeguarding enquiries during the 2016/17 financial year has been published today by NHS Digital.

Best public sector DevOps team awarded to NHS Digital

14 November 2017: An NHS technology team has been given a national award for developing a new product which successfully migrated two billion records, can be updated weekly rather than annually, processes data faster and operates at 20 per cent of the cost of the old system.

Spontaneous labours in England fall as induced labours and caesareans rise

09 November 2017: The proportion of pregnant women having a spontaneous labour has decreased over the past year from 57.4 per cent in 2015-16 to 55.1 per cent in 2016-17. Over the same time, the proportion of caesareans undertaken before the onset of labour has increased from 14.7 per cent to 15.5 per cent and induced labours have increased from 27.9 per cent to 29.4 per cent, figures from NHS Digital show.

NHS Digital publishes Tracing Service Review

07 November, 2017: A review that started in January 2015 and concluded in 2016 to assess the appropriateness, effectiveness and operational efficiency of tracing services carried out by NHS Digital has today (7 November) been published.

Report shows decrease in cervical screening coverage in England

7 November, 2017: Cervical screening coverage for women eligible for testing has fallen by 0.7 percentage points in the last year, according to statistics published today by NHS Digital.

Latest statistics on community pharmacies published today by NHS Digital1

07 November, 2017: New statistics have been published today on the activities carried out by community pharmacies and appliance contractors2 in England during 2016/17.

44 per cent of 11-15 year olds have ever had an alcoholic drink, survey shows

44 per cent of 11 to 15-year-old pupils have ever had an alcoholic drink, 19 per cent have ever smoked cigarettes and 24 per cent have ever taken drugs, latest estimates for 2016 published today show.

Number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications up 11 per cent

The number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards2(DoLS) applications submitted in 2016/17 increased to 217,000, compared with 196,000 the previous year, figures released by NHS Digital today show.

New innovation in digital standards to improve child health information

An innovative way to share important information about a child's health has been launched today and will support the prevention of childhood illness, improve health and wellbeing and involve parents more closely in their children's care and development.

NHS Digital launches new API Lab

31 October, 2017: NHS Digital has today announced plans for a new API Lab to be run in partnership with INTEROPen community members.

NHS Digital responds to report on WannaCry cyber incident

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published the findings of an independent investigation into the WannaCry cyber incident on 12 May 2017.

Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) successfully launches with first live customer

26 October, 2017: The first customer has connected to the Health and Social Care Network, which allows health and care organisations to work better together to provide improved care for patients.

Social care spending up £556m as costs also rise

25 October 2017 Annual spending by local authorities on social care rose by £556 million in 2016/17 to £17.5 billion, new figures show.

Report shows prevalence of key conditions across England

Figures released today by NHS Digital provide information on the prevalence of 21 conditions, including asthma, hypertension, dementia, diabetes, and depression.

New information on mental health and maternity

19 October, 2017: Statistics on the use of mental health services by new and expectant mothers have been published today by NHS Digital.

Obesity prevalence increases in reception age primary school children

19 October 2017: The prevalence of obesity has risen for the second successive year from 9.3 per cent in 2015-16 to 9.6 per cent in 2016-17 for children in reception.2

New annual A&E statistics report published

17 October, 2017: The Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity, 2016-17 report combines data from NHS Digital's Hospital Episode Statistics and NHS England's A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions Monthly Situation Reports in an extensive report into emergency care produced in collaboration by the two organisations.

Audit report on pregnancy in diabetes released

12 October 2017: An audit report has been published measuring the quality of care and outcomes for women with pre-gestational diabetes who were pregnant in 2016.

Changes to published statistics on uses of the Mental Health Act

Mental Health Act Statistics, Annual Figures 2016/17, is published today by NHS Digital, using a different data source which allows for new insights but restricts comparisons with previous years.

Electronic Prescription Service saves NHS £130 million over three years

9 October, 2017 The transformative electronic prescription service (EPS) has managed to save the NHS £130 million over three years.

Sexual and reproductive health services statistics published

05 October 2017: National statistics on sexual and reproductive health services have been published today by NHS Digital.

Survey of adults receiving social care and support services shows slight rise in reports of feeling safe

05 October 2017: 70.1 per cent of people receiving social services care feel "as safe as they want" according to the results of a survey published by NHS Digital1 today.

Annual information published on cost of NHS estate

The Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC), published today by NHS Digital, provides information relating to the costs2 of providing, maintaining and servicing the NHS estate.

Summary Care Record now accessed every 5 seconds

27 September 2017 Making more use of electronic Summary Care Records could make a big impact on improving patient care, a senior NHS Digital figure will say today.

Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) now supported by interactive resources

The Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) - Deaths associated with hospitilisation, England, April 2016 - March 2017: annual report is published today by NHS Digital.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccination target for five year olds in England has been met for the first time

20 September, 2017: The proportion of eligible children receiving their first dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR1) by their fifth birthday has met the World Health Organisation target of 95 per cent for the first time in England in 2016-17.

First two trusts meet milestone of all electronic NHS referrals

18 September, 2017: Two hospital trusts and their referring GP practices have become the first in the country to adopt a digital process for booking patient hospital appointments.

Number of written complaints about NHS increases 4.9 per cent

14 August 2017 There were 208,400 written complaints received by the NHS during 2016/172 - up 4.9 per cent on the previous year, NHS Digital figures released today show.

GP Data Hub short listed for an HSJ award

An online information portal, designed to improve access to useful health data about GP services, has been short listed for a Health Service Journal award.

NHS Digital publishes collaborative report with Ofsted on early years data

A collaborative report between NHS Digital and Ofsted, published today, investigates how sources of early years data can be used together to enrich analysis and insight into child development.

More patients to benefit from programme to widen participation in digital health

11 September 2017 NHS Digital has announced five new projects that will help thousands of people in England to improve their digital health skills and improve access to technologies to support their health and care.

​​​​​​​NHS Digital welcomes Health Secretary's digital healthcare vision

11 September 2017 Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital, commenting on Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt's commitment to ensuring patients can access a range of services via an app or browser by the end of 2018, said:

Annual NHS dental statistics published

31 August, 2017: Figures have been released today by NHS Digital1 about all patients who received NHS dental care in England during the last financial year.

Mental health and behavioural conditions account for nearly one-in-three known fit notes

31 August 2017: Mental health and behavioural conditions have accounted for 31% of all fit notes2, where the diagnosis was known3, written in England between December 2014 and March 2017.

Latest patient-led assessments provide annual picture of the quality of healthcare premises

15 August, 2017: Annual patient-led assessments of non-clinical elements of care such as food and waiting areas have been published by NHS Digital1 today.

NHS Digital welcomes new chief executive Sarah Wilkinson

14 August 2017: NHS Digital today welcomes its new chief executive Sarah Wilkinson on her first day in the role. She takes over the reins from Rob Shaw, who has acted as interim chief executive for the last six months and today begins a new role as deputy chief executive.

Financial problems caused by caring linked to increased feelings of social isolation

3 Aug, 2017 Almost 40 per cent of carers who reported the most serious financial difficulties also felt socially isolated, according to a survey of 55,700 carers, which is published today.

Increase in prescriptions for diabetes exceeds rise in overall prescribing

1 August 2017: Prescription item for the treatment of diabetes in primary care have increased by 80.1 per cent over the last decade, compared with a 46.0 per cent rise across all primary care prescribing, an NHS Digital report published today shows.

Professor David Hughes to continue, part-time, as Director of Life Sciences

31 July 2017: Following on from the announcements about our leadership team in August, we are pleased to have agreed with David Hughes that he will continue to work with us part-time as Director of Life Sciences, providing strategic advice and support to the Board two days per week.

GP Data Hub second phase goes live

17 July 2017: Following the successful rollout of the GP Data Hub in April, the second phase is now complete, seeing a range of new functionality added to the original system.

Figures released for numbers of GP surgery openings and closures or mergers

14 July, 2017: A supplementary report has been published on the number of practices that have opened, closed or merged2 in England between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017, as part of a regular publication series.

Annual report brings together GP-level data on recorded dementia diagnoses

14 July 2017: The latest statistics on dementia prevalence in England have been published today by NHS Digital1.

Annual diabetes checks reduce mortality risk for people with diabetes

13 July, 2017: People with diabetes who have had annual diabetes checks regularly in the preceding seven years have a mortality rate which is half the rate of those who have not, according to the latest publication from the National Diabetes Audit 2015-16.

NHS Digital comments on Your Data, Better Security, Better Choice, Better Care - Government Response to the National Data Guardian review

12 July 2017: NHS Digital Interim CEO Rob Shaw said: "Our objective, alongside our partners in the NHS family, is to build and maintain public trust in data security and data sharing. Patients need to feel confident that their data is held safely and securely and information only shared for the benefit of health and care.

NHS Digital publishes annual report and accounts 2016 to 2017

Our annual report and accounts for 2016 to 2017 were laid before parliament on 11 July 2017.

NHS Wi-Fi rolled out to all GP surgeries

10 July 2017: Every patient in England will be able to access free to use Wi-Fi in GP practices, under a scheme being rolled out across the country.

Annual statistical publication for FGM shows 5,391 newly recorded cases during 2016-17

04 July 2017: There were 5,391 newly recorded2 cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) reported in England during 2016-17, according to the second publication of annual statistics from this data set.

Antidepressants were the area with largest increase in prescription items in 2016

29 June 2017: Antidepressants saw the greatest numeric rise of all British National Formulary (BNF)2 therapeutic areas for prescription items dispensed in the community in England in 2016, according to a report published today by NHS Digital.

Report on transition of care between childhood and adulthood for people with diabetes

A new report that charts the care of young people with Type-1 diabetes as they move from paediatric to adult services has been published for the first time today by NHS Digital1.

New challenge for David Hughes to focus on mental health analytics

19 June 2017: Professor David Hughes, NHS Digital's Executive Director of Information and Analytics, is leaving the organisation to focus his expertise on mental health analysis.

Interactive dashboard provides new insight into cervical screening coverage

16 June 2017: GPs and health organisations will be able to improve cervical screening rates thanks to an innovative new online data tool.

Figures on surplus land in NHS estate published

16 June 2017: Information on land and buildings which have been sold, as well as land which has been retained but developed and used for housing, has been published by NHS Digital in a new format.

Prevalence of smoking falls among adults in England

15 June, 2017: The percentage of adults aged 18+ in England who smoke has fallen from 19.9 per cent in 2010 to 15.5 per cent in 20161.

Project unveils 25 years of lifestyle changes

14 June, 2017: A new tool shows how people in England's smoking, drinking and healthy eating habits have changed over the past 25 years, in a new, easy to understand, format.

Update on NHS cyber attack - 15 May

15 May: Our Data Security Centre continues to provide 24/7 specialist support to help NHS organisations, their in-house IT teams and staff deal with the NHS cyber attack.

Latest guidance for NHS on protecting against cyber attack

Last updated 18 May 2017: Get the latest information and guidance from NHS Digital's Data Security Centre on the cyber attack on the NHS on 12 May 2017.

UPDATE: Cyber security incident - 14 May

Our Data Security Centre continues to work around the clock alongside the National Cyber Security Centre, to support NHS organisations that have reported any issues related to this cyber attack.

UPDATED Statement on reported NHS cyber-attack - 13 May

13 May 2017: We are continuing to work around the clock to support NHS organisations that have reported any issue due to yesterday's cyber-attack.

Statement on reported NHS cyber attack

A number of NHS organisations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack.

Three new reports on alcohol use and misuse published today

03 May, 2017: Statistics on Alcohol, England, 2017 acts as a reference point for health issues relating to alcohol use and misuse by providing information obtained from a number of sources2 including newly published information on

NHS Digital appoints new CEO

18 April, 2017: NHS Digital has appointed technology and change leader Sarah Wilkinson as its new CEO.

Statistics to be brought together in accessible format with launch of General Practice data hub

12 April, 2017: Health care professionals, charities, journalists and patients will be soon able to view a wide range of statistical information on GP practices from across England in one place with the launch of a new data hub.

Report on health and care of people with learning disabilities published

Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities: 2015-16 is published today by NHS Digital. It includes information on people with and without learning disabilities, collected from over half of GP practices in England, in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Report brings together latest statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet

30 March 2017: An annual report published today brings together information from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive picture of obesity related health issues in England.

Report shows change in NHS workforce over time

29 March 2017: The number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff working for the NHS in England has increased by 2.2 per cent (26,000) since 2015, NHS Digital figures released today show.

Seventh National Pulmonary Hypertension Audit published

23 March 2017: The National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension sets out to measure the quality of care provided to people referred to pulmonary hypertension services in England and Scotland.

NHS Digital extends programme to widen participation in digital health

NHS Digital aims to help thousands of people to improve their digital health skills, with the launch of the next phase of a three-year Widening Digital Participation (WDP) programme.

Improving access to HES data

16 March 2017: NHS Digital is developing a new process to publish Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) significantly sooner for improved analysis, planning and patient care.

Latest experimental statistics about female genital mutilation published

07 March, 2017: New official figures published today provide experimental statistics on female genital mutilation (FGM) in England, from October 2016 to December 2016.

Report highlights need for early intervention for diabetic foot ulcers

8 March 2017: A report published today finds that early intervention is important in the management of diabetic foot disease, with people who receive expert care most quickly having the best outcomes.

Prevalence of hypoglycaemic episodes declines in hospitals, according to diabetes inpatient audit

8 March 2017: The prevalence of all hypoglycaemic episodes in hospital, both mild and severe, has decreased from 26 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2016.

NHS Digital announced as key sponsor of Leeds Digital Festival 2017

6 March 2017: NHS Digital, the national provider of information, data and IT for the health and social care sector, is delighted to be a key sponsor of Leeds Digital Festival 2017.

New report brings together data on drug misuse

28 February, 2017 An annual report that brings together information from a variety of sources to give a joined-up picture of drug misuse has been published by NHS Digital1.

Breast cancer screening coverage sees first increase in five years

23 February 2017: Breast cancer screening coverage has increased for the first time since 2011, new NHS Digital figures show.

NHS Wi-Fi launched in GP surgeries

17 February 2017: More than five million patients will be able to access free to use Wi-Fi in early adopter GP practices, enabling them to link in with local health clinics and services and paving the way for future developments in digital patient care.

IGARD formally launches

13 February 2017: A new independent group that reviews applications for sensitive NHS Digital data has formally launched with expert members and an enhanced transparency remit.

GP patients now being referred to more appropriate services thanks to new online tool

08 February 2017: GPs have welcomed a new online feature which is expected to bring about a reduction in the number of patients being referred to inappropriate services.

3 February: Summary Care Record reaches 100,000 views in a week

The Summary Care Record - an application which enables clinical staff to see potentially life-saving information - hit a milestone 100,000 views this week, according to NHS Digital.

31 January: Report shows variations in diabetes care

The National Diabetes Audit 2015-16, published by NHS Digital in partnership with Diabetes UK, found that the percentage of patients with Type 1 diabetes achieving NICE-recommended treatment targets for glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol varied from 11 per cent in some CCGs/LHBs to 34 per cent in others.

New non-executive directors join NHS Digital's Board

NHS Digital has announced the appointment of of five new non-executive directors who have joined the leadership team.

Annual A&E statistics published

10 January 2017: New official figures published today provide details of Accident and Emergency activity in NHS hospitals in England during 2015-16.

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