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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust given £1.6m to invest in new technology for E-prescribing

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More than £1.6 million of funding is to go towards the initial roll out of state of art technology for safer and more convenient prescriptions in Buckinghamshire.

The money is part of £78m in funding that Health Minister Stephen Hammond announced for trusts throughout the country to support the increased use of electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA).

New systems will build up a complete electronic record, ensure rapid access to potentially lifesaving information on prescribed medicines, reduce duplication of information gathering and crucially can reduce potentially deadly medication errors by up to 50% when compared to the old paper systems.

Chief pharmacist at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Jayne Ballinger said: ‘We are excited about the opportunity E-prescribing brings, to transform the way we work and improve the safety of medicines for patients.

The move, which also reflects the Secretary of State Matt Hancock’s technology vision, will see a specifically chosen mixture of acute, mental health and community organisations receive a share of £16million funding for 2018/19.

Health Minister Stephen Hammond said: ‘As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we not only want to harness technology to make it one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, but crucially to improve patient care.

The introduction of electronic prescribing is not only known to reduce medication errors, but also frees up time for staff by moving away from archaic paper based systems.

The implementation of full ePMA across healthcare organisations delivers a step change in quality and safety for patients, with evidence pointing to a reduction of around 50% in relation to high risk medication errors.

Andrew Davies, Director of Hospital Pharmacy, NHS Improvement said: ‘There is evidence that electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems will improve safety for patients, reducing the risk of harm and ensuring high quality efficient patient care which is as safe as possible.

I’m delighted so many trusts have submitted successful bids to accelerate the introduction of these systems to provide safer, better quality patient care. We are now looking for more trusts to bid for funding by the end of January.

These systems when implemented for in-patient, discharge, home care and out-patients also support improved efficiency in the use of resources including medicines and the clinical workforce. In addition they will support improvements in the NHS’s understanding of the real benefits for medicines and the impact they have on patients health and care quality.

Increasing the use of digital systems in healthcare means that data from patient records, imaging and digital diagnostics can be used to support and inform management of a disease.

This has led to national and come local healthcare organisations moving towards greater data driven practice and putting in place process and systems that support clinical decision-making and distribute resources where it is needed most.

In February 2018 the previous Secretary of State announced that £75million would be made available for provider trusts that had not progressed with the implementation of electronic prescribing. This investment is intended to support the accelerated implementation of ePMA across all provider organisations within the next three years to 2021.

Other trusts set to benefit from the first tranche of funding are as follows :

  • The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust – £756,000
  • Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – £1,600,000
  • Humber NHS Foundation Trust – £300,000
  • Northern Lincolnshire And Goole NHS Foundation Trust – £940,000
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – £819,000
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – £2,200,000
  • Barts Health NHS Trust – £1,700,000
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust – £750,000
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust – £1,450,000
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – £1,171,000
  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust – £1,013,000
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – £1,717,000

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