A further £8.7million is to be dished out to seven NHS hospital trusts to introduce digital records and e-prescribing.

The money is part of a £78million investment which was announced in February 2018 and aims to accelerate the roll out of electronic prescribing systems across the NHS.

The latest funding is part of the third wave of the investment, which will be handed out over three years. In 2018/ 19, £16.2 million was awarded, £29.4 million was given in 2019/20 and another £12 million will be invested later this year.

The seven trusts which will benefit from this latest round of finding are:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (£1.7m)
  • Solent NHS Trust (£988,000)
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (£637,000)
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (£1.26m)
  • North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust (£2m)
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (£1.6m)
  • Birmingham Community NHS Trust (£531,000)

National director of patient safety, Dr Aidan Fowler, said: “Patient safety is of paramount importance and is something we are continuously looking at ways to improve, whether through new technology, such as the introduction of electronic prescribing, or by building a safety culture where all NHS staff feel supported and safe to speak up.”

The then health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, first pledged the funding for electronic prescribing following the publication of a study carried out by the Universities of York, Manchester and Sheffield which revealed that an estimated 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year.

Speaking to the BBC in 2018, Hunt said: “We know that if you move to electronic prescribing systems rather than paper-based systems that we still have in many hospitals we can eliminate around half of errors.”