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Health secretary to name 12 'digital excellence' trusts in line for funding

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Jeremy Hunt is today due to name 12 trusts that will “deliver pioneering approaches to digital services”, as the government looks to “fast track” technology implementation in the NHS.

Each trust will receive up to £10m to act as “global exemplars” of digital technology. The funding is intended to enable them to invest in technology and infrastructure, improve staff training and create a “new generation” of chief clinical information officers, to speed up advances in digital technology.

Each trust will also be partnered with an international organisation of their choice to help learn from their digital expertise.

Speaking at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester later today, the health secretary is expected to announce the 12 trusts as:

  • City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

The 12 were chosen from a shortlist of 26 trusts compiled by NHS England in August.

Further funding of up to £5m each will be available for 20 other trusts to act as “national exemplars” and improve the use of digital technology throughout their organisation.

Universities will also be invited to host a new NHS “digital academy” to help train staff to deliver digital healthcare. Further announcements on which trusts and universities will be involved are expected in coming weeks.

Robert Wachter

Robert Wachter

Robert Wachter

The initiative is in response to a review of NHS technology by US clinician Professor Bob Wachter, which was published earlier today and titled Making IT work: harnessing the power of health information technology to improve care in England.

Other measures in response to the review include a reboot and rebrand of NHS Choices as NHS.UK, which will allow patients to register with a GP, order prescriptions and book appointments from one site.

Mr Hunt is also expected to announce improvements in the data and accessibility of online personal health records and the MyNHS website, a new 111 online “triage” service, and NHS approved health apps.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • By all means harness new technology but just remember our older population are not all up to date with modern technology. As this group is said to be the biggest user of health services then is technology appropriate? I would have thought that the budget would have been better spent on frontline services for the benefit of all.

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