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PCTs can bid for £99k for digital services

DH announces funding for innovative information sharing ideas

Louise Prime

Friday, 31 August 2012

The Government has invited PCT clusters to bid for up to £99,000 for new digital services that improve patient care and information sharing across the NHS.

The DH says its aim in setting up the Information Sharing Challenge Fund is to encourage NHS bodies to share “innovative ideas that change the way information is currently used and shared between different organisations so that NHS staff, clinicians and patients can access information when they need to and patients can be involved in decisions about their care if they wish to be”.

In her letter this morning, Ailsa Claire, the Transition Director for Patients and Information at the National Health Service Commissioning Board Authority, said: “There are many opportunities for effective information sharing between NHS organisations, social services and the third sector.

“The public rightly expects the NHS, social care and other organisations to work together. Encouraging local innovation in this way will allow for better integrated care and allow patients to access their information so they can make decisions based on what they need.”

She told heads of PCT clusters, strategic health authorities, care trusts and others, that if their idea offers demonstrable value for money, and can easily be adopted by others as part of the NHS interoperability toolkit*, they may bid online until 5 October for up to £99,000.

Health minister Lord Howe said: “We want to support doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals to be innovative in the NHS. That is why we have created this fund to encourage NHS organisations to come up with new digital ideas that not only improve services for patients but help create an environment where local IT information can be more easily shared across the NHS. I look forward to seeing the ideas that come forward.”

* The NHS Interoperability Toolkit is a set of standards and frameworks that allows different IT systems to connect together.

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