§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of the Department's IT budget will be assigned to the roll-out of picture archiving and communications systems; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the time scale is for introducing picture archiving and communication systems across the NHS. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Picture archiving and communications system (PACS) technology funded under the national programme for information technology will begin to be introduced across the national health service during summer 2004. The aim is for national coverage to be complete within three years.
In 2004–05, £60 million of central funding—approximately 4 per cent. of total anticipated NHS information management and technology expenditure will be provided to support investment in buying and implementing PACS. Expenditure on implementing PACS technology in future years will be determined and announced in due course.