NHS announces £78m technology fund for health and social care providers

The NHS will give £78m integrated digital care funding to health and social care providers in 2015 to help them invest in technology

The NHS will give £78m integrated digital care funding to health and social care providers in 2015 to help them invest in technology.

NHS Trusts and local authorities will have access to £43m of the fund set aside to help implement electronic information systems for patient records.

A further £35m of the funding will be available for the second wave of the Nursing Technology Fund to develop digital services to support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants.

Beverley Bryant, director of strategic systems and technology at NHS England, said: “We are committed to a digital strategy to help transform health services through technology and put patients in control of their care.

We welcome the latest investment in the Integrated Digital Care fund, which will help to digitise and integrate patient information across health and social care, enabling safer, more joined-up services.”

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Early funding recipients

Among those to obtain funding to improve nursing technology include Marie Curie Cancer Care, which obtained £1m to implement mobile access to care records,

The NHS awarded Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust £646,000 to implement paperless nurses notes. Devon Partnership NHS Trust will receive £204,000 to develop video consultation services.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said: “The Nursing Technology Fund has supported nurses, midwives and care staff to carry out valuable and innovative work, and will continue to empower staff to deliver safer, more effective and more efficient care.”

Electronic records high on the agenda

This is among many steps the NHS is taking towards implementing digital services and electronic patient records to cope with demand caused by a growing population.

Earlier in March 2015 the NHS launched a programme looking for innovators to develop technologies and digital services to improve care for patients.

Electronic patient records are high on the agenda to move the NHS nearer implementing its controversial care.data scheme, designed to use anonymised patient data to identify patterns in disease and illness.

To push forward with e-record implementation, £1.9bn of government funding was set aside to be made available for health authorities meeting certain standards, such as implementing electronic health records.

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