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Beverley Bryant gives details on £1.8bn paperless NHS funding

Both capital and revenue funding will be made available to NHS organisations, but not through a “traditional” tech fund

Following health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that the government will give the NHS £4.2bn for technology over the course of this parliament, NHS England’s director of digital technology, Beverley Bryant, has shared more details about the £1.8bn promised for “a paperless NHS”.

Bryant told the audience at a Westminster Health Forum on electronic patient records that the £1.8bn being spent on paperless will be split between £900m in capital investment, available to frontline NHS, and £400m in revenue funding to support the running costs of the investment.

Bryant said the £400m revenue funding has been ring-fenced from the newly established Sustainability and Transformation Fund, which was announced in January 2016.

Although the exact details of the funding won’t be revealed until April 2016, Bryant said “some capital funding” will be available in the next financial year, while the revenue funding “will be back-ended”.

She also confirmed that both capital and revenue funding would be available for every year of the programme.

Previously, NHS trusts have applied for funding through NHS England’s technology funds, but this will not be the case with the new money.

Allocations from this latest fund will be based on local sustainability and transformation plans, which health and care organisations must complete by June 2016.

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These plans are in addition to the local digital roadmaps that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been asked to submit, which explains how CCGs are going to make sure everyone in their health economy are paperless and interoperable by 2020.

Together with these plans, and the digital maturity assessments trusts had to recently complete, looking at how they are using technology in a meaningful way, NHS England will decide “who needs money for what”.

“These plans will form the base of money that we give to them. They won’t need to apply for the tech fund,” she told Computer Weekly.

“We’ll take the plans, and we will also look at the digital maturity of the organisation and use these two things to form the basis of the decision about money we then give to them,” said Bryant, adding that it was likely “everybody will get some money”.

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