Twenty-five trusts across the country are set to receive a share of £26million to upgrade digital prescribing systems, the government has announced.
The funding will also be used to better connect patient history and replace outdated paper systems, with the ultimate aim of reducing errors and improving patient safety.
Using digital prescriptions reduces medication errors by 30% compared to paper systems, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
It will also ensure faster access to medications and reduce duplications of patient records.
The funding is the second wave from a £78 million pot to improve patient care by speeding up the implementation of electronic prescribing systems across the NHS over three years.
Last year 13 other trusts received a share of £16 million.
Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, said: “Switching from paper prescriptions to digital in our hospitals will make mistakes less likely, free up staff time and ultimately improve patients’ care and health.
“This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to support health service organisations to use digital technology to improve the care they can give patients, and allow staff to focus on delivering care, rather than on time-consuming processes.”
The successful 25 trusts span acute, mental health and community services.
The funding will support them to fulfil a Long Term Plan commitment to implement electronic prescribing systems across all providers.
Simon Priestley, chief pharmacist of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which received £940,000 in the first wave of funding, added: “We are at the early stages of our rollout of electronic prescribing and medicines management system and colleagues across the trust are really supportive of the system we are implementing and keen for their areas to start prescribing electronically.
“We anticipate it will improve accuracy and reduce the number of medication errors; both in terms of doctors prescribing and nurses administrating drugs.”
It comes after a recent announcement that all prescriptions in England are set to be digitised when the final stage of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is rolled-out next month.
Following successful trials in 60 GP practices and thousands of pharmacies, it’s estimated the service will save the NHS £300 million a year by 2021 through reducing paper processing and prescribing errors.
The pilot saw some 329,000 prescriptions dispensed by more than 3,100 community pharmacies. Roll-out is due to begin on 18 November.
The 25 trusts to benefit from the funding
- Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust: £700,000
- Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: £1,240,000
- South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £250,000
- Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & East Cheshire NHS Trust: £2,500,000
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £1,250,000
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £1,250,000
- London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £3,000,000
- Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £380,000
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust: £610,000
- Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust: £1,500,000
- Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust: £790,000
- Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust: £540,000
- Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust: £1,250,000
- 2gether NHS Foundation Trust: £460,000
- Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: £430,000
- North Bristol NHS Trust: £1,500,000
- Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust: £830,000
- Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust: £1,250,000
- Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust: £800,000
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust: £1,000,000
- Barking Havering Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust: £1,500,000
- Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: £1,150,000
- Barts Health NHS Trust: 900,000