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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