More patients and healthcare staff in North Devon will benefit from single, electronic, hospital patient records as Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust joins three other NHS trusts in the south west in receiving a total of £3.2 million to introduce e-prescribing.
South west trusts are among 16 English trusts that will share nearly £16 million of government funding: Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (£960,000), Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (£1,188,000), University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (£673,000) and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (£400,000).
Single, complete records have helped to improve patient safety across the NHS and save staff time, which they can spend on patients.
Instead of relying on handwritten notes and paper medicine charts, staff can now quickly access potentially life-saving information on prescribed medicines and patient history. This can also reduce medication errors by up to 30% when compared with the old paper systems.
Electronic prescribing systems have been shown to save time and money by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy. Investing in these systems will help to save money and increase productivity for the NHS overall.
North Devon MP, Selaine Saxby, said:
“This is great news for patients and healthcare staff in North Devon and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to levelling up the country with investment in the modernisation of our NHS services. This welcome funding will improve efficiency and safety, and ultimately save lives.”
Nadine Dorries, the Minister for Patient Safety, said:
“We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.
“The introduction of digital prescribing systems has helped us reduce potentially deadly medication errors and save our hardworking staff valuable time, enabling them to dedicate their full attention and care to patients.
“As we enter what is set to be a challenging winter, the best way we can continue to protect patients and staff is if we all work together and continue to follow the national restrictions to suppress the virus.”
The funding is part of a £78 million investment to achieve the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to eliminate paper prescribing in hospitals and introduce digital prescribing across the entire NHS by 2024.
Since 2018, 216 NHS trusts have received a share of this fund and the proportion of trusts with an electronic prescriptions and medicines administration (ePMA) system is expected to have risen from 19% in 2018 to more than 80% by March 2021.
Image: Selaine visited North Devon District Hospital in February this year.