Patients were able to book GP appointments through robotic receptionists as part of plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to make the NHS more efficient.
Such systems are believed to be up to 10 times faster than humans, and cheaper.
AI software could also be available for doctors to transcribe their notes, provide test results and analyze referrals, it was suggested today.
Calls to leverage breakthrough technology are part of the NHS’s long-awaited staffing plan, which will be released in full later this week.
Rishi Sunak said the blueprint will be ‘one of the most important announcements in NHS history’.
The proposals are part of the long-awaited NHS staffing plan, which will be released in full later this week and will be ‘one of the most important announcements in the history of the NHS’, the Prime Minister (pictured yesterday) said. with Secretary of Health Steve Barclay)
The prime minister said the plan will reduce ‘our dependence’ on foreign staff while helping to tackle chronic NHS waiting lists.
The current maximum number of places in medical schools will be doubled from 7,500 in England to 15,000, allowing a greater number of students to train as doctors.
Part of the report, yet to be seen by MailOnline, argues that AI and robotics should be used in the NHS to rethink the way it interacts with patients and its role in diagnostics and screening.
There is a push for the use of ‘robotic process automation’, according to this The Daily Telegraph.
Such processes may involve scheduling appointments.
Doctors could use artificial intelligence (AI) software, such as ChatGPT, to transcribe their notes, the document suggests.
NHS trusts will be urged to use software to analyze performance and identify where more appointments can be crammed in.
To enrol The Sunday timesMr Sunak said technology is ‘part of the answer’ to tackling the NHS crisis and said ‘advances such as artificial intelligence can lend a helping hand’.
The healthcare sector is currently struggling with a record backlog and 124,000 vacancies.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay lobbied for possible technological advances to be included in the plans, according to The Telegraph.
A source close to Mr Barclay told the newspaper: “Technology and innovation, particularly AI, are changing the nature of healthcare, and the Health Minister is keen to see them play a major role in improving diagnosis and treatment and reducing of waiting lists.
“He wants AI to help reduce workload and increase productivity, support staff and free up their time to focus on caring for patients.”
Last week, the Health Minister unveiled a £21 million fund to use AI to speed up cancer diagnoses and treatment times and reduce waiting lists.
Other leaked parts of the plan include doubling the number of places in medical schools in England from 7,500 to 15,000, allowing a greater number of students to train as doctors.
And tens of thousands of aspiring doctors are expected to work in the NHS without going to university. Instead, they would “earn as they learn” for five years before they had to take the same exam as medical students to become doctors.
Officials believe that up to one in 10 doctors and a third of all nurses could eventually be trained through this radical new approach to recruitment.
Mr. Sunak has also indicated that the plan will include an expansion of ‘general practitioners-specialists’.
The Prime Minister told the BBC show Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “This week we are going to do something that no government has ever done.
“It’s going to be one of the most important announcements in the history of the NHS, and that’s to make sure it has a long-term staffing plan so we can hire the doctors, nurses and GPs we need, not just today , but also in the future, to provide the care we all need.’
He added: ‘What it will represent is the biggest expansion in training and workforce in the history of the NHS.’ But he admitted that it can take up to 15 years for patients to feel the benefits.’