It was reported this week that the £100m Nursing Technology Fund, announced by David Cameron in 2012, is opening for applications.
NHS organisations are now able to bid for funding to support projects to introduce or enhance the use of technology for Nurses in their services. It is expected that the first phase of funding will be allocated before Christmas, with a target of March 2014 for the introduction of successful technologies.
We welcome this move, although care must be taken to avoid creating orphaned initiatives which don’t assist Nurses in the vital work they undertake. If a holistic view is taken, it’s likely that suitable bids will emphasise the increasing role of Nursing and the integration of roles and functions within complex modern healthcare settings.
Technology for Nursing is varied and we’re always interested by the range and quality of the solutions on offer. Notation, file-sharing, hardware, digital pens and notes etc. can all go together to enhance the ease with which a Nurse undertakes his or her duties and the outcomes of that care. Hopefully, pressurised colleagues will also feel the benefit in terms of increased time to care and reduced frustration with technology and processes.
Of course, the fund need not apply only to new projects. As we discuss technology with NHS colleagues, we often encounter projects in development, or at the “drawing board” stage. The acceleration and expansion of such projects may be a welcome and important outcome of the fund.
In our own work, we emphasise the flexibility and integration of our products with other technologies, and would welcome partnerships with NHS organisations, Nurse leaders and other colleagues to expand, accelerate or improve projects.