In May 2013, the Secretary of State for Health and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England, launched the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund. With the key priority of enabling information flow across care settings, the fund was renamed the Integrated Digital Care Fund.
NHS England is responsible for the delivery, administration and governance of the fund to facilitate the widespread adoption of modern, safe standards of electronic record-keeping. Digital systems have the potential to benefit patients and clinicians by enabling safer, more joined up care through the sharing of comprehensive clinical information. This can lead to reduced prescription errors, improve clinical decision-making and support patients to interact with their own health record.
First Round Awards
The Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund was open to NHS Trusts to support the rapid progression from paper-based clinical record-keeping to integrated digital care records (IDCRs). The initial wave approved 213 projects from digital clinical records to electronic prescribing and medicines management totalling over £195m.
Second Round Awards
Applications for the Integrated Digital Care Fund closed on 14 July 2014. 226 applications were received and 47 organisations have been awarded funding totalling over £44m. In the second round integrated digital records remained a priority but with an emphasis on supporting information flows across organisational boundaries. Consequently, the eligibility criteria was widened to include local authorities.