NHS England offers trusts £100m digital excellence funding
NHS England has invited 26 acute trusts to bid for grants worth up to £10m designed to allow them to become centres of digital excellence.
To access the £100m funding pot, trusts will need to demonstrate that they can deliver comprehensive use of electronic patient records, where they are available to doctors and nurses in real time and can be accessed by patients online.
They should also be able to share information across the local health and care system, and use electronic medicines management to reduce errors.
Professor Keith McNeil, the recently appointed chief clinical information officer at NHS England, said: “It is evident the benefits of investing in and optimising use of digital technology to improve efficiency and enhance care is more widely understood but we are not yet realising these benefits at scale or sufficiently quickly.
“We need to move faster in getting clinicians real time access to accurate information and joining up healthcare systems to improve outcomes for patients and reduce workload for doctors, nurses and other NHS staff. Our aim here is to create a national movement in which the centres of global digital excellence will be core.”
NHS England said the digital innovation programmes must be accompanied by a commitment to robust data security, with senior accountability and fully supported operating systems throughout their organisation.
The recently published Caldicott review said that the NHS has made little progress in improving its data safeguarding standards since 2013, leading to the care.data programme being closed down.
Between 10 and 16 trusts, who will be announced at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo event in September, will receive the grants.
Paul Rice, head of technology strategy at NHS England, said: “We have a set of acute providers who are class leading in England when it comes to optimising digital technology.
“This benefits their clinicians, their patients and the wider community they serve. By stepping up to become world class they can join the most digitally advanced healthcare organisations across the globe and help deliver a sustainable and transformed NHS.”
NHS England said that the trusts would lead the way for improvements in information sharing across the health system, and that in the future community, mental health and ambulance trusts could become digital centres of excellence.
The successful trusts will also be partnered with international sister organisations to help them maximise the benefits from the reforms and support IT workforce development.
The shortlisted trusts were chosen using the digital maturity self-assessment index.
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