Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has completed the roll-out of a new mobile technology tool provided by Vodafone and TotalMobile for its community nurses and midwives.

The trust used a £1 million award from the first round of the Nursing Technology Fund to pay for 400 tablets, 152 laptops and software that allows its staff to access and update patient records and other information while working in the community.

They can also talk through treatment plans with patients. The platform is provided by Vodafone, while the mobile working solution is provided by TotalMobile.

In a comment to EHI News, Graham Softley, associate director of IT at Buckinghamshire Healthcare, said tthe companies had helped the trust “drive forward robust and reliable mechanisms” for creating a system that was simple to use and that integrated with its community electronic patient record, RiO.

Softley added that the platform uses Blue Prism automation software to integrate with RiO, although this will later be changed to make use of RiO’s application programming  interfaces.

Softley added that it was “still early days in terms of benefits realisation. What we are already seeing, though, is that our teams have much more information to hand when they are out visiting patients which is helping them to provide safe and compassionate care in the community.”

Sue Dowsett, an advanced community practitioner at Buckinghamshire, provided a staff viewpoint on the use of mobile technology in community care.

She said: “I now have secure access to patient information when and where I need it that day, meaning I no longer need to travel to an office to document patient information.”

Softley added that the trust will be closely monitoring the impact of the mobile technology, including a questionnaire for patients to fill in about their experience with the new system and if it is making a difference.

The questionnaire will also inform the trust if the mobile technology could be applied to a hospital setting to benefit staff.

Several other trusts have used investment from the Nursing Technology Fund to implement mobile working solutions for their staff.

This includes Humber NHS Foundation Trust, which this month agreed a deal with BT and TotalMobile to provide hospital staff with a system to view patient records on mobile devices.

While in March, Ealing Hospital, part of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, said it had gone live with a system that lets midwives keep track of patient data using a tablet.