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The second wave of the £500 million ‘Integrated Digital Care Fund’, (formerly the ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund’), opens to applications today.
NHS Trusts, and now Local Authorities, can apply for part of £240 million of funding to digitise and integrate patient information across the health and care sector, driving improvements in patient care.
It builds on the first wave of £260 million of Department of Health capital funding announced by NHS England last July to support NHS Trusts to digitise records and develop electronic systems for prescribing medicines quicker and more accurately.
Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology at NHS England, said: “The focus for health and care staff is their patients but historically, staff have had to work within the limitations of paper records and slow bureaucratic systems.
“Digitisation removes this barrier – staff don’t need to wait for a set of paper records to be transferred to where their patient is – they can be available at the touch of a button by the staff who need them, when they need them.
“Demands on healthcare are increasing and we need to be smarter in the way we deliver care. Modern technology, when used well, provides a string to our bow that we didn’t have twenty years ago. We need to continue to embrace it as a tool for great patient care.”
The application process for wave two of the Integrated Digital Care Fund will run until 14 July 2014. The £240 million will be split – 2014/15 (£160m) and 2015/16 (£80m). Applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary team to ensure the funding will deliver benefits for staff and patients and value for money.
Organisations which are eligible to apply are NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts and local authorities. Applications will be limited to one per individual organisation and one per joint/partnership application.