£26m to help hospitals introduce digital prescriptions

25 trusts will receive a share of the funding to replace outdated paper systems, improving patient safety and reducing errors

NHS trusts will share a £26m moneypot aimed at replacing handwritten prescriptions with digital ones

Hospital trusts across England are to receive a share of a £26m moneypot to help them introduce digital prescriptions.

A total of 25 trusts, including acute, mental health and community services, will share the cash as part of ongoing efforts to move away from handwritten medication forms.

The upgrade to more-efficient systems will save the NHS time and benefit patients by:

  • Reducing medication errors by up to 30% compared with the old paper systems
  • Ensuring fast access to potentially-lifesaving information on prescribed medicines
  • Building up a complete, single electronic record to reduce duplication of information gathering

The funding will support them to fulfil the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to introduce electronic prescribing systems across all providers.

The funding for the next year is the second wave from a £78m pot to improve patient care by speeding up the implementation of electronic prescribing systems across the NHS over three years.

Last year 13 other trusts received a share of £16m.

Commenting on the latest investment, Minister for Health, Edward Argar, said: “Electronic prescriptions in our hospitals will not only do away with old-fashioned paper prescription, but can help prevent avoidable and potentially-catastrophic medication errors.

”As part of our long-term plan for the NHS we’re committed to giving our hardworking staff access to modern systems which save them valuable time and make every penny of taxpayers’ money count.

“Following the previous funding announcement, I’m delighted to confirm the funding allocations for these 25 trusts as part of our mission to upgrade NHS hospitals with modern technology so patients get the best and safest care possible.”

Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, added: “Switching from paper prescriptions to digital in our hospitals will make mistakes less likely, free up staff time and ultimately improve patients’ care and health.

”This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to support health service organisations to use digital technology to improve the care they can give patients and allow staff to focus on delivering care, rather than on time-consuming processes.

The trusts receiving funding are:

  • Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust: £700,000
  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: £1,240,000
  • South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £250,000
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & East Cheshire NHS Trust: £2,500,000
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £1,250,000
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £1,250,000
  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £3,000,000
  • Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £380,000
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust: £610,000
  • Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust: £1,500,000
  • Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust: £790,000
  • Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust: £540,000
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust: £1,250,000
  • 2gether NHS Foundation Trust: £460,000
  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £430,000
  • North Bristol NHS Trust: £1,500,000
  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust: £830,000
  • Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust: £1,250,000
  • Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust: £800,000
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust: £1,000,000
  • Barking Havering Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust: £1,500,000
  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: £1,150,000
  • Barts Health NHS Trust: £900,000 – following an award of £1,700,000 in 2018 to 2019

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