The Trust is to receive £1,020,000 as part of nationwide funding to be used to support the implementation of electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA). This is part of a long-term NHS plan to make sure patient care is as safe as possible and every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.
Patients in Bolton are set to benefit from safer and more convenient prescriptions thanks to more than £1million in the initial roll-out of funding for state-of-art technology. The Trust’s ePMA will be part of the new Electronic Patient Record system which will be introduced in 2019.
The Health Minister Stephen Hammond announced today that Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is among the first to receive a share of £78million national funding to support the increased use of electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA).
The new systems will build up a complete electronic record, ensure rapid access to potentially lifesaving information on prescribed medicines, reduce duplication of information gathering, and crucially can reduce potentially deadly medication errors by up to 50% when compared to the old paper systems.
The move, which also reflects the Secretary of State Matt Hancock’s technology vision, will see a specifically chosen mixture of acute, mental health and community organisations receive a share of £16million funding for 2018/19.
Health Minister Stephen Hammond said:
“As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we not only want to harness technology to make it one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, but crucially to improve patient care.
“The more than £1million provided for Bolton will help to drive these changes to the patient experience, but will also aid our hard-working and dedicated staff.
“The introduction of electronic prescribing is not only known to reduce medication errors, but also frees up time for staff by moving away from archaic paper-based systems.”
The implementation of full ePMA across healthcare organisations delivers a step change in quality and safety for patients, with evidence pointing to a reduction of around 50% in relation to high risk medication errors.
Andrew Davies, Director of Hospital Pharmacy, NHS Improvement said:
“There is evidence that electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems will improve safety for patients, reducing the risk of harm and ensuring high quality efficient patient care which is as safe as possible.
“I’m delighted so many trusts have submitted successful bids to accelerate the introduction of these systems to provide safer, better quality patient care. We are now looking for more trusts to bid for funding by the end of January.”
These systems when implemented for in-patient, discharge, homecare and out-patients also support improved efficiency in the use of resources including medicines and the clinical workforce. In addition they will support improvements in the NHS’s understanding of the real benefits for medicines and the impact they have on patients health and care quality.
Increasing the use of digital systems in healthcare means that data from patient records, imaging and digital diagnostics can be used to support and inform management of a disease.
This has led to national and come local healthcare organisations moving towards greater data driven practice, and putting in place process and systems that support clinical decision-making and distribute resources where it is needed most.
In February 2018 the previous Secretary of State announced that £75million would be made available for provider trusts that had not progressed with the implementation of electronic prescribing. This investment is intended to support the accelerated implementation of ePMA across all provider organisations within the next three years to 2021.