In October 2012 the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a Nursing Technology Fund to support nurses, midwives and health visitors to make better use of digital technology in all care settings, in order to deliver safer, more effective and more efficient care.
The funding was to be allocated to providers following an application and evaluation process. The first round, for £30M, was for funding to be spent in FY13/14. In the second round launched in November 2014, £35M of capital funding is available to be spent across FY14/15 and FY15/16.
In the first round, 226 applications were received from 139 organisations. 74 Trusts were awarded funding totalling almost £30m for 85 projects. A list of successful applications is available to download.
The funded projects represent the full range of geographies and care settings. The highest award to an individual project was £1M, and to an individual organisation was £1.46M (for two separate projects). All projects projected a Value for Money return greater than 2:1, with almost half projecting a return of at least 4:1. Of the successful projects, 90% will provide solutions for nurses, 23% for midwives, and 10% for health visitors. The majority of projects involve mobile technology, a quarter involve vital signs monitoring solutions, and eight projects involve digital pens.
The second round of the Fund has now launched, with a closing date for applications of 2 December 2014. Late applications will not be accepted. Full details of the second round focus, eligibility, priorities and process are detailed in a Prospectus.
We are inviting applications that are aligned with one or more of the following technology-enabled capabilities:
Organisations eligible to apply include NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, Local Authorities and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs). Further details are provided in the Prospectus.
Applications must bid for funding to be spent either in FY14/15 or in FY15/16. We expect to award £20-25M for FY14/15 and £10-15M for FY15/16.
Templates for application pack documents:
Further guidance for applicants:
‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQs) on the application and evaluation process are published here, and will be updated periodically, where we see a wider benefit in sharing the answers we have provided to queries from individual organisations.
If the answer to a query relating to the application process cannot be found in an FAQ, then queries should be sent to email@example.com. Applicants must note that whilst we aim to respond to these enquiries quickly, a specific response time cannot be guaranteed, especially for enquiries submitted immediately prior to the closing date.
NHS England plans to set up a knowledge base and a community of practice over the coming months. Please monitor this page for further announcements.
NHS England has also embarked upon a programme of work to support local providers achieve ‘Value for Money’ in their procurement activity. The specific opportunities currently being progressed are: mechanisms to procure Apple mobile devices, Dell mobile devices and accessories for mobile devices; guidance on tablet devices and digitally enabled observations management solutions; and advice on routes to procure other specialist solutions. Updates on this programme are published below.