NHS England has finally revealed the successful projects from the second round of its technology fund, nearly a year after it first opened for applications.
The ‘Integrated Digital Care: Technology Fund’ was launched by NHS England in May last year, with £240 million initially on offer to improve the digital maturity of trusts and encourage integrated working between health and social care.
However, the announcement of successful bidders was repeatedly delayed amid rumours about the fund’s fate, before it was revealed earlier this year that it had been cut by nearly £200 million, with only one-fifth of bidders to receive any money.
Of the 226 initial applications, only 47 bids have received a share of the £44 million on offer.
Among the notable projects are Leeds City Council receiving £1.35 million for the Leeds Care Record and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust being given £1.35 million for its IMS Maxims open source EPR implementation.
As expected, integrated digital care record projects have received the largest chunk of money, with 24 projects being awarded a total of £30.4 million.
£11.7 million went to digital care record projects involving single organisations, with 21 trusts receiving funding for their work.
E-prescribing projects have largely missed out on funding – despite being the only class of systems named for special attention in the tech fund 2 prospectus – with two trusts receiving a total of £2.2 million.
21 trusts received the maximum award size of £1.35 million, accounting for nearly 65% of the overall fund between them.
Six councils received funding worth a total of £6.9 million for integrated digital care record projects involving NHS organisations, after the tech fund was opened to local authorities for the first time.
Beverley Bryant, NHS England’s director of strategic systems and technology, said: “We are committed to a digital strategy to help transform health services through technology and put patients in control of their care and welcome the latest investment in the Integrated Digital Care fund which will help to digitise and integrate patient information across health and social care, enabling safer, more joined up services.”
Earlier this month, health secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested that the money cut from the tech fund may be reinstated in future as part of a “staged roll-out”.
“We’re completely committed – I’m the health secretary who set up the fund,” said Hunt.
“In the context of finding an extra £2 billion for the NHS over the course of the next year, which is a huge amount from every part of the NHS, we have had to make difficult decisions in parts of the system.
“My view is that it is really important to increase the investment in IT because we in terms of long-term efficiency, long-term sustainability, really investing in IT – there is nothing more important.”
The full list of successful tech fund 2 bids can be viewed here.