Innovation, News

NHSX opens funding applications for digital perioperative pathways

NHSX has opened up applications for digital perioperative pathway support, through a new fund, with the aim of helping Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to streamline services.

The Perioperative Care Adoption Fund, part of a wider collaboration between NHSX, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), will allow applicants to apply for up to £500,000 for an organisation.

NHSX is seeking initiatives that will digitise the perioperative care pathway, with preoperative assessment “that are pathway agnostic” and “eConsenting”, the priorities for this financial year, with a “focus on Enhanced Recovery After Surgery to follow”. Although, NHSX adds that “solutions which scale the end-to-end pathway are highly desirable and welcome”, too.

By supporting the identification, procurement, mobilisation and implementation of digital solutions, it’s hoped that the administrative burden on staff will be reduced, while still increasing capacity and improving patient safety and experience.

NHSX adds that, with “up to 60% of people on waiting lists requiring high-volume surgery such as cataract removal, hernia repairs or joint replacement operations”, the focus of the fund is on the transformation of High Volume Low Complexity pathways.

Successful applicants will receive funding that will support testing and implementation of technologies that enable a sustainable pathway redesign, with ICSs considered the “target recipient”. It’s hoped that applications from these organisations will be submitted by those who have an active interest in introducing or scaling up digital innovations and who have “already done some thinking in this area”.

Each ICS that joins the Adoption Fund would be offered, as well as the funding, the chance to join a community of innovators in perioperative care, where they can regularly share learnings and resources.

Those that receive funding will be expected to implement the digital technology by early 2022, complete a case study at the end of the project and attend show and tell events.

For those interested in applying, a series of information webinars will be held from 6 to 10 September 2021, while applications close on 12 September, with shortlisting to take place later that month and a final decision made on 4 October.

To find out more about how to apply, click here.

The funding news complements NHSX’s set of ‘digital playbooks’ which showcase and platform potential digital solutions and pathways across different areas of healthcare, such as in eye care and mental health.

There is also similar funding in available in other areas that NHSX believes will benefit from the digitisation of pathways, including musculoskeletal  services.