NHS England has today announced an update on the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund which offers NHS Foundation Trusts and NHS Trusts access to a £260 million technology fund, after the deadline for Expressions of Interest closed on 31 July.
The fund has received an unprecedented number of applications; in excess of 760 completed and valid Expressions of Interest applying for over £650 million of funding to support rapid progression from paper-based systems for patient notes and prescriptions to integrated digital care records (IDCRs) and the development of ePrescribing.
The level of interest in the Safer Wards, Safer Hospitals Technology Fund underlines the commitment of NHS provider organisations to play their part in helping the NHS go increasingly paperless by 2018.
The money will be used to facilitate the creation of systems linking patient records connected across providers. The move towards the routine use of high quality digital information at the point of care will bring a number of benefits for patients and clinicians:
- doctors and nurses will be able to see up to date information about patients, their medications and history at the point of care, providing safer, joined up treatment
- patients, and their carers, will no longer need to keep repeating their medical history to health professionals at different stages of their care
- it will prevent drugs being prescribed incorrectly and, potentially, lethally, because patient notes have been lost
- ultimately, patients will be able to interact with their own health record if they wish, reflecting their personal values and preferences.
NHS England will now carefully consider each Expression of Interest and at the next stage of the process work with each applicant to confirm the specific benefits they intend to achieve. We will notify applicants on the outcome of their submission as soon as possible.