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Wireless monitors bought for Heart of England nurses

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Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is to spend £1m on wireless observation monitors as a result of a successful bid for investment from the government’s technology fund for nursing.

The Midlands trust, which runs Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital, applied for the funding to purchase the monitors as part of its wider initiative to enhance patient safety. 

The new devices wirelessly transmit observations directly into patient electronic records, making the process much quicker and safer and freeing up nursing time to deliver care to patients.

The trust added that the technology will also enable the introduction of an automated alert system that reviews the recorded clinical information, so signs of deterioration are recognised faster.

A number of other trusts have also announced investment in similar patient observation devices this year, using money from the nursing technology fund.

Andrew Simmons, clinical project lead for electronic observations at Heart of England, said: “I am delighted that we have received this funding as it will have a significant impact on patient safety. 

“By spending less time on paperwork it will also free up more time for nurses, which they can spend with patients,” he said.

In October 2012 the prime minister announced the establishment of a nursing technology fund to support nurses and midwives to make better use of digital technology.

Two-thirds of the £100m fund, allocated to providers following an application and evaluation process, has been released in two rounds so far.

The first round, for £30m, was for funding to be spent in 2013-14 and a second round of £35m has been awarded to be spent across 2014-15 and 2015-16.

However, as reported last year by Nursing Times, the second round of funding was scaled back from an originally planned £70m, leading to concerns that it had been re-allocated.

The future of the remaining £35m in the fund has yet to be revealed.

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