BCS Health advises NHS not to rely on stimulus funds to progress sustainable informatics strategies in light of budget cuts
BCS Health, part of The Chartered Institute for IT, is warning NHS trusts that have received funding to rollout innovative IT solutions not to lay the cash to waste.
The call comes in response to reports that NHS England’s second Technology Fund has been cut by nearly £200m, with only a fifth of bidders to receive any money.
As a result BCS Health said those trusts that have put much effort into applying for funding in order to speed up implementation need to create sustainable and financed informatics strategies from their budgets.
Institute chairman, Justin Whatling, said: “The news that the technology funding has been cut is a disappointment. We need to ensure that the NHS is able to take advantage of the benefits that modern technology brings. Let’s not waste the hard work and effort that has gone into developing these investment cases, but to embed them into trust informatics strategies and budgets. Sustained investment in IT and informatics is critical to transforming care for patients and delivering efficiencies.”
The technology fund has been good to overcome the danger of inertia post NHS National Programme for IT in England, getting trusts to start to co-invest and spend money on bridging their IT gap, and getting IT on the board agenda
The fund was £240m when it was launched in May 2014. But the final size of the Integrated Digital Care: Technology Fund signed off by the Treasury has been announced as £43m.
Whatling said: “The technology fund has been good to overcome the danger of inertia post NHS National Programme for IT in England, getting trusts to start to co-invest and spend money on bridging their IT gap, and getting IT on the board agenda.
With this latest news, however, it reminds us that stimulus funds may come and go, but trusts still need to ensure that they create and plan a sustainable and financed informatics strategy from their budgets.”