News, Secondary Care

Humber NHS chosen to pilot EPR mental health programme for NHSX

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has been selected to pilot an NHSX EPR programme across its digital mental health services.

Officially called the ‘EPR Innovator Project for Mental Health and Community Trusts’, the project is part of the organisation’s wider Digital Aspirant Plus (DA+) programme, which includes just seven NHS trusts across the UK, and is focused on stimulating innovation in ‘Electronic Patient Record (EPR) systems across the acute, and the mental health and community sectors’.

Humber Teaching NHS FT is one of three organisations picked to take part in the mental health and community trust programme, alongside Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

The project will see selected organisations partner with NHSX to use investment to build upon Electronic Patient Record (EPR) capabilities that are ‘currently not provided across the market’.

Examples provided by NHSX include potentially developing capabilities around: mobility and flexible working to support mobile workforce, community working and remote access; the interoperability of clinical and operational systems; remote monitoring and supporting people at home; support for full patient pathways

Seed funding of up to £250,000 is available and, according to Humber Teaching NHS FT, the aim is to provide staff with an EPR system which is ‘secure and easy to use’ for day-to-day work, ‘complements existing processes, such as those within the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record’, and also saves staff time when searching for patient information.

Humber NHS will be working on the programme across its mental health services in areas of Hull, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Lee Rickles, Chief Information Officer at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be an EPR Innovator Project for Mental Health. Our initial focus will be improving the user experience, meaning that the system will be designed around the person using it and adhere to staff needs. We will also be recruiting our operational Digital Champions to help us develop the EPR alongside these needs. Working with NHSX will bring new ideas, solutions and challenges to the exciting programme of work.”

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, added: “Electronic Patient Record systems are the building blocks of good digital healthcare, but they are also complex and expensive to procure. At NHSX, we want to positively shape the EPR market in England and help local NHS organisations procure new, modern solutions and drive wider innovation in the market.

“These exciting projects will not just help the seven selected trusts deliver better care for their patients and a better experience for their staff, but it will also help those other NHS organisations looking at EPR procurement.”

The Digital Aspirant Plus (DA+) programme also includes the EPR Accelerator Project for Acute Trusts, which has the same aim but focuses on acute trusts and includes the four remaining participants in the wider programme – Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.