Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust has been given the green light to invest £13m on an electronic patient record project.

The trust announced this week that it has been given approval from the NHS Trust Development Authority to procure and develop a “state of art” system to improve the recording and access of patient information.

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent is a joint community and social care trust and serves a population of 1.1m people.

Jonathan Tringham, the trust’s director of finance and resources, said it needed a new system quickly and it plans to go out to procurement shortly. It expects to go-live in summer 2015.

“When the trust was established it inherited more than 30 different clinical IT systems. These meet the needs of individual services but are disconnected from any central record and result in an incomplete picture of the patient,” he said.

“A large proportion of our clinical records are also manual or paper. Records of this kind can only be used in one place and time and restricts joined up working both within the partnership and externally with our partners, often delaying some aspects of care.”

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent is a joint community and social care trust that serves a wide area. It plans to deploy an EPR, scanning facility and eventually a patient portal.

Tina Cookson, the trust’s director of operations and lead for the EPR project said this would “streamline, simplify and standardise” the way clinicians capture and use information.

“The partnership trust receives and makes referrals to a range of services including, but not limited to, GPs, mental health and acute care,” she said.

“The ability to join all these systems up and improve the way we record and share information about patients will provide a safer, more efficient and more effective standard of care.”

The trust has made significant investments in IT recently, including £5m to buy computer equipment to support community staff.

This includes £1m in funding from the Nursing Technology Fund, which will be spent on rolling out laptops, clinical tablets and smartphones.