Mental health trusts to spend £70m on innovative digital services and systems
Mental health trusts to develop apps and online patient records – Photo credit: Flickr, Pete, public domain.
NHS England has named the seven mental health trusts that are to spend £70m on digital mental health services and act as exemplars for how the rest of the health service can make better use of technology.
The trusts, which will match the government’s funding of £35m for the scheme, are to improve online access to patient records, develop ways for staff to work remotely and boost the use of apps to help patients while they wait for face-to-face treatments.
Schemes under development include a system that will allow all the main healthcare professionals working with a particular patient to have access to real-time records, from triage and initial assessment, through admissions and referrals to follow-up care.
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The NHS’s chief clinical information officer, Keith McNeil, said that clinicians “must embrace technology to help us deliver the best care to our service users” and that the investment would help to provide both “improved experience and outcomes for service users across the country”.
Nicola Blackwood, minister for public health and innovation, said that the exemplars would “be truly world class in supporting high quality care with digital technology, providing a blueprint for excellence, not only to the NHS, but across the world”.
The seven trusts are: Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.
The fund is part of the government’s wider investment in both digital services for mental healthcare – which received a headline boost of £68m at the start of the year – and in the aim of making the NHS paperless by 2020.
The award follows the launch of a platform for developers working on healthcare apps and the NHS’s digital apps library earlier this week.