NHS England has today welcomed the £250m extension to the ‘Safer Hospital, Safer Wards’ Technology Fund, increasing its value to over £500m to help patients get better and safer care.
The fund is available to NHS Trusts to support the widespread adoption of modern, safe electronic record-keeping, replacing outdated paper based systems for patient notes and prescriptions with integrated digital care records (IDCRs).
The ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ Fund will also help to deliver NHS England’s commitment to allow everyone to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online by March 2015. The money will be spent on digital systems that connect across different health and care organisations, meaning:
- doctors, nurses and social care professionals in accident and emergency can access patients’ complete medical details, giving patients personal and effective treatment with full knowledge of their medical and care history;
- more effective discharge from hospitals into the community as health and care professionals have access to information on the individual needs of patients;
- health and care professionals will have this information at their fingertips so can spend more time seeing patients and less time filling in paperwork;
- errors will be reduced, as it will stop drugs being prescribed incorrectly because patients’ paper notes have been lost.
Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information for NHS England said:
”We are delighted with the additional funding for the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ Technology Fund to help patients get better and safer care.
“A single patient record will help to make the patient journey from hospital to home seamless, giving professionals from different health and care organisations access to information when they need it most, without patients having to repeat themselves every time they speak to a different doctor, nurse or care professional.
“This extra funding is great news for the NHS and great news for patients.”
NHS England is currently evaluating the first stage of the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ Fund and expects to announce how the initial funding has been awarded at the end of October.