West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is to become a prestigious “centre of global digital excellence” after successfully bidding for a share of £100m in funding to further improve the way technology is used to benefit patients.
The hospital was invited to bid for the money by NHS England after it was identified as one of the country’s 26 “most digitally advanced” trusts following the introduction of its electronic patient record, e-Care, earlier this year.
The trust will find out exactly how much it has been awarded – which could be anything up to £10m – in the next few days.
Over the next two years, the funding will be invested in accelerating the hospital’s existing plans to develop further its e-Care system. This will see the system fully integrated with those used by GPs other hospitals such as Addenbrooke’s, social services and other care providers so that everyone can share the same records, in turn avoiding duplication while making life easier for clinicians.
In addition, a secure patient portal will be created to give patients access to their personal health records, allow them to view test results and send messages to their doctor, in turn ensuring they are fully involved in their own care.
West Suffolk will also share its learning with other organisations from across the UK with the aim of helping the wider NHS to move faster to improve information technology for the benefit of patients and staff.
Dermot O’Riordan, chief clinical information officer and consultant surgeon at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding from NHS England in recognition of the technological advances we have made. We are genuinely excited by the opportunities it presents and believe that we can achieve groundbreaking innovations in patient care.
“We have already laid some excellent foundations for digitising everything we do through the introduction of e-Care, and will now be able to accelerate and broaden our future plans for developing the system still further.
“We recognise that digitisation is essential for the future of healthcare. This funding is a fantastic boost which will help us lead the way while delivering on our vision and ambitions for the patients we serve.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with our development partners, Cerner, as we transform West Suffolk into a true centre of global digital excellence over the next two years. We are proud of what our staff have already achieved and look forward to making ourselves a true global exemplar”