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NHS England offers Trusts over £100 million funding pot to set up centres of global digital excellence

Twenty six of the most digitally advanced trusts have been invited by NHS England to apply for a £100m+ funding pot to become centres of global digital excellence and drive forward better use of technology in health.

In a bid to win up to £10m each to invest in digital infrastructure and specialist training, the 26 acute trusts, already advanced in their use of technology in hospitals, will need to demonstrate their potential to become world leaders in health informatics. Between 10-16 trusts will be selected to become centres of global digital excellence.

Once established, the centres will lead the way for the entire system to move faster in getting better information technology on the ground, delivering benefits for patients and sharing learning and resources with other local organisations through networks.

NHS England will partner the global centres of digital excellence with international sister organisations to help maximise the benefit they get from the systems and support workforce development by encouraging local IT leaders to become the next generation of Chief Clinical Information Officers.

The centres will be announced at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo event in September where IT expert Professor Bob Wachter will outline recommendations to galvanise use of technology in the NHS following a review of how well IT is currently working across the health service.

Professor Keith McNeil, 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.”

To be selected, trusts need to show they will deliver:

  • Comprehensive use of electronic patient records – making patient records available to doctors and nurses in real time for documentation of observations and assessments, granting patients online access to their medical records, and use of electronic medicines management which can halve medication errors.
  • Information sharing across the local health and care system – digital correspondence and test results for patients and online medical record and care plan sharing between health and care teams.
  • Robust data security –  a plan to respond to threats to data security with senior accountability and fully supported operating systems throughout their organisation.

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.”

The first wave of global digital excellence centres will be selected from the acute sector but it is anticipated they will soon be established in community, mental health and ambulance settings as well.


Events of interest: 

Delivering a Paperless NHS: Intelligent Electronic Document Management in Healthcare
Thursday 8 December 2016
ICO Conference Centre, London

Electronic Prescribing In Hospitals: Moving Forward
Thursday 6 October 2016
The Studio Conference Centre, Birmingham

5 August 2016


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