Patients and staff to benefit from £1.4m to improve technology

Posted on in Staff, The trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received £1.4million to invest in new technology for clinical staff.

The trust is one of 75 across the country to receive the first round of investment from the ‘Nursing Technology Fund’ after it successfully submitted two bids which will deliver real improvements to patient care and safety.

The funding will be used to buy technologies such as tablets and clinical software both in community and hospital settings.

Trust chief executive Professor Tricia Hart said: “This is excellent news and helps to support a key area for us in transforming the way we care for – and treat patients – through improved and co-ordinated information technology.

The bids were developed by nurses – for nurses – and will allow us to develop new, more modern ways of working which will not only help to improve patient care but also benefit our staff.”

The trust’s two successful projects were:

  • Vital signs monitoring – £1million – This patient safety initiative will help ward-based clinicians to record clinical data on hand held devices, so the NEWS – national early warning score – will be calculated electronically and accurately in a standardised manner. The project further supports the escalation of care for deteriorating and high risk patients based on evidence based protocols so importantly, care will be escalated to the most appropriate clinician to care for individual patients in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Mobile computing in community – £444,000 – Over the last few years, an electronic patient record has been successfully rolled out in the community. Thanks to this funding, new high specification and lightweight laptops will be introduced so that mobile working can be more effective, further supporting nurses and our patients. This will mean forms can be filled in there and then with the patient – saving nursing time – and access to information will be improved through dialling in through the phone network, again improving the patient experience and providing more ‘time to care’. The funds will secure support for over 350 nurses across the South Tees and North Yorkshire.

The national announcement was made this week at the NHS EXPO conference in Manchester by Beverley Bryant, director of strategic systems and technology at NHS England.

She said: “This is about using modern technology to support and facilitate staff in providing compassionate and personalised nursing care. It is about making life easier for staff – for example a digital pen can improve record keeping and reduce paperwork, a tablet or ipad can mean a community nurse can work on the go without needing to make as many trips back to the office, which means more time spent with patients.

“Also, mobile IT devices that can be used at the bedside puts valuable information at nurses’ fingertips. This is ultimately about enabling nurses and midwives to improve the care they provide for patients.”

The Nursing Technology Fund was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of 2012 with the application process launched by NHS England in 2013. In this first wave, NHS England received 226 applications, led by nurses, from 139 trusts.