220 applications for £30m moneypot to enhance nursing services


140 trusts bid for Nursing Technology Fund cash to support development of innovative mobile and digital technologies

In just eight weeks the NHS has received more than 220 applications from 140 trusts for the first round of the Nursing Technology Fund.

Announced by Prime Minister, David Cameron, in October 2012, the initiative will fund innovative mobile and digital technologies that will allow nurses, midwives and care staff to work more flexibly and effectively. NHS England says this will increase patient safety, create a better patient experience and reduce paperwork.

The first round of funding, which launched in December and ends this month, will see £30m given to projects which can be delivered this financial year, with the remaining £70m available as a second round of funding for the 2014-2015 financial year.

Jane Cummings, NHS England’s chief nursing officer, said the number of applications shows a desire to embrace modern technology.

“Mobile and digital equipment can really benefit busy nurses, midwives and care staff,” she added.

“For example mobile technology can mean a community nurse doesn’t have to spend as much time travelling to and from the office, which means more time spent caring for patients and quick access to key information at the touch of a button means that staff can carry out their job more effectively.

“Health demands have changed dramatically over the years and it is important we have a modern NHS that is capable of meeting the challenges this brings. Effective use of technology is a major part of this.”

In the first round, trusts could apply for funding for digital pens, mobile technology, systems for the collection and logging of vital signs, and systems for uploading essential clinical information to digital care records.

NHS England is reviewing applications and says it will announce the successful bids later this year.

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The deadline for expressions of interest for the remaining £70m for the next financial year closes on Wednesday, 26 February.