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Bids open for £100m nurse technology fund

A £100m technology fund has been launched to support nurses and frontline patient care.

The pot is being made available by NHS England for organisations within the public sector to streamline the work of nurses, midwives and care staff and reduce time-consuming paperwork.

The ‘Nursing Technology Fund’ was announced last year by David Cameron and is now accepting first round bids until 15 January, 2014.

Announcing the launch of the fund, chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings said: “There are already many examples across the health service where technology is making a difference. This funding is a real opportunity to expand and build on this and provide nurses, midwives and care staff with the tools they need to deliver safer and better patient care.

“Digital pens can reduce the burden of paperwork and mobile technology such as tablets or notebooks can provide access to up-to-date information to enable community healthcare staff to deliver safe, effective care and spend more time with patients with all the relevant information to hand. Technology can make a real difference to frontline patient care,” she added.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Nurses and midwives chose their profession because they wanted to spend time caring for patients, not filling out paperwork. New technology can make that happen. It’s better for patients too, who will get swifter information, safer care and more face-to-face time with NHS staff.”

Those eligible to make an application to the fund include NHS trusts providing hospital, community, mental health and ambulance services. They must show where the funding will be spent on technology and how patient care will be improved on a practical basis.

A total of £30m will be delivered in 2013-14 and the remaining £70m in 2014-15.

David Cameron announced the launch of the Nursing Technology Fund in October 2012, promising a £100m investment in technology to help nurses “spend more time at the bedside”.

But, as reported by Nursing Times, concerns were raised in September this year that the tight timescales involved were leading to the exclusion of nurses from the project’s design.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I can't see how this will save time, as it doesn't suggest cutting what we need to document, but another way of doing it. Personally, I can write quicker than type, and with less errors. Will it be like a restaurant menu, that you just tap in an observation and an intervention or procedure? I can't see how it will enhance individual care. I am all for progress, and IT is here to stay. I can see we will all be micro-chipped eventually and intervention, probably delivered by robots, automatically recorded

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  • I totally agree with the comment above and have the same pessimistic vision although micro chipping may have some advantages (tongue in cheek) such as the elimination of passports, identity theft and other crimes and much more!!!!!! with all of our personal information right from birth and including our DNA, life would be so much more simple (or would it with so many safety issues and personal privacy at stake and totally threatened?)

    typing errors are easily made and lead to erroneous information about patients and their care with disastrous results and leading to an increase in fatal errors.

    Taking this scheme 'to market' could cause further abuse of taxpayers funding and reduce the amount needed to improved front line patient care.

    despite the reforms the whole system from a to z needs revising and updating so there are more and better diagnostic and treatment services in the community so that patients receive these in a more timely manner and more costly and with specialist resources reserved for serious and urgent cases and those necessitating treatment in hospital according to clinical need. Surely this would be a better use of resources and more cost-effective than flooding hospitals and A&E departments in the long run and save lives as there would be more and better facilities which were more easily accessible for everybody. this is how services are organised in most w. european countries with more walk in centres and more equipped gp practices to carry out a wide range of preliminary investigations and the option of self-referrals to whatever service is required.

    we need to increase the number of hc professional staff and facilities to meet the growing demands of the population and not remain stuck in what was suited to previous eras!

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