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23.07.15

'Technological revolution' for Camden & Islington mental health services

Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust says the big grant it won from the Nursing Technology Fund is enabling a “technological revolution”.

The £750,000 award – one of the highest to any mental health trust – will benefit thousands of people with mental health conditions.

The cash will help fund smart devices, tablets, software and laptops for staff, improving the quality of service they can provide and ensuring they can spend more time overall with patients, the trust said.

Its associate director of ICT, David Jackland, said the funding also coincided with the trust’s upcoming shift from using the Rio electronic patient record system to Carenotes instead.

“This is a quantum leap forward for our service provision. This news could not have come at a better time for us as we prepare to go live with Carenotes on 7 September. This new technology will have an incredibly liberating effect on our staff and help us enormously in our work with partner agencies. This is nothing short of a revolution in our capabilities.”

Among the tech purchases being made by the trust are more than 300 iPads, aimed at professionals working ‘in the field’, as they will allow more work to be done without the clinical teams needing to return to base.

The grant comes from the second wave of the Nursing Technology Fund, originally set up in 2012, which was extended to mental health trusts more recently. Camden & Islington’s bid was called ‘Enabling Excellence through the eNurse project’.

Jackland said it was important the trust made a “watertight case” for the grant money, adding: “There was a lot of number-crunching that had to be done, including a value-for-money analysis and a financial analysis in order to meet the Department of Health's expectations. It was time consuming but we all knew how important it was that we got everything right. Fortunately everyone's hard work paid off and we are very grateful to everyone in the trust who worked on it.”

Claire Johnston, director of nursing and people at the trust (pictured, top), said: “This is fantastic news for nurses and patients because it gives such a great range of benefits for managing patient care. Our patients can now see a copy of their full care plan which we hope will be very reassuring for them. One of the questions nurses have been asking me most frequently is 'When are we going to go mobile?’ It's a real thrill to be able to tell them that that day is coming very soon!”

Overall in the second round of funding, £35m was awarded to be spent in 2014-15 and 2015-16. A total of 276 applications were received in this round of funding and 62 organisations were successful.

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