The Government has today (Nov 18) announced that 16 hospitals will have a share of £16m worth of funding to be put towards digital prescribing.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust are all taking the largest share with £1.485m being given to each.
This funding makes up part of £78m of funding that is designed to eliminate paper prescribing in hospitals and introduce digital prescribing across the entire NHS by 2024.
The benefits of digital prescribing are numerous, including patient safety by giving staff quicker and more reliable access to potentially life-saving information, as well as saving time for the staff that can then be reinvested into other patients to improve quality of care.
Minister for Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries said:
“We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. The introduction of digital prescribing systems has helped us reduce potentially deadly medication errors and save our hard-working staff valuable time, enabling them to dedicate their full attention and care to patients.
“As we enter what is set to be a challenging winter, the best way we can continue to protect patients and staff is if we all work together and continue to follow the national restrictions to suppress the virus.”
NHS Providers welcomed the funding but said that more needs to be done to invest in the wider digital agenda to make the NHS a truly digital organisation.
Deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“We welcome today’s announcement that a further 16 NHS trusts will receive funding to support the implementation of electronic prescribing. The benefits of these systems are well known, and will lead to a safer and more efficient NHS.
“But electronic prescribing is only one part of the digital agenda, and NHS trusts have ambitions that extend into the wholesale transformation of health and care services.
“These digital aspirations can only be realised if there is a long term funding commitment for the sector. This will empower trusts to make strategic and more cost effective digital investments as part of a more sustainable approach to digital maturity.”