After being awarded £6m in funding in the second wave of the Digital Aspirant Programme, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has set out how it intends to use the money.

The second wave recipients were announced back in March this year, with seven trusts receiving up to £6m over three years to fund digital transformation programmes.

Gloucestershire Hospitals was one of them and plans to use its funding to support the next phase of its digital transformation. This includes ePrescribing; going paper-lite across all outpatients; utilising ED and maternity clinical functionality; implementing RFID; creating digital intelligence to improve quality, outcome and research; and ensuring systems are interoperable to enable shared health and care records.

The trust’s bid for Digital Aspirant funding was secured following the successful implementation of its EPR, which was rolled out by Allscripts in just five months during the pandemic.

Paul Downie, CCIO at the trust, said: “Our two-year plan to deliver clinical functionality that would improve care for the majority of our patients included nursing documentation, electronic observations and order communications. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the first part of the project has delivered more than we could have imagined and has only increased demand for further digital improvements.”

Gloucestershire Hospitals Sunrise EPR was delivered using a first-of-its-kind PER blueprint, which deploys the system quickly and does away with the need for a full ‘rip and replace’ of all existing solutions. The trust has already seen the benefits of this approach. It enabled it to switch off expensive legacy systems sooner, with the EPR seeing a return of £10 in savings for every £1 invested. Patient care time has also increased by 19% according to the trust.

Richard Strong, vice president and managing director of Allscripts EMEA, added: “Two out of the seven second-wave trusts that received full Digital Aspirant funding are using Allscripts’ Sunrise EPR to demonstrate significant progress and forward momentum in their transformation programmes. We look forward to continuing to support them on their journey as they utilise new technology that integrates, compliments and extends their existing systems.”

The trust is hoping the funding will help it level up digitally, with hopes that it can take its HIMSS rating of around 0.02 to level six within a five year period.