ICSs invited to bid for share of £30 million tech fund

The Department of Health and Social Care has opened a £30 million funding programme inviting integrated care systems to submit bids for digital projects.

The funding opportunity is based on local need, which the Government notes could cover technology to support wait lists, virtual wards, wearable devices to monitor chronic conditions remotely, support diagnosis, the expansion of 3D checks for cancer tests or logistics solutions such as the use of drones.

ICSs are invited to submit bids for the funding that is being made available, to DHSC and NHSE to access the funds, with applications expected to open this month.

Steve Barclay, Health and Social Care Secretary, commented: “It is vital that clinicians have access to the latest technology to save staff time, deliver high quality care and help cut waiting lists – one of the government’s top five priorities.

“This investment will see the latest tech innovations rolled out across the NHS. From virtual ward beds to wearable medical devices, patients will be better supported, and we will ease pressures on hospitals this winter.

“We’re preparing for this winter earlier than ever before including delivering thousands more hospital beds and hundreds of new ambulances.”

Earlier in the year, we covered the Department of Health and Social Care’s medical technology strategy, a document setting out how they will ensure that the health and social care system can “reliably access safe, effective and innovative technologies.” DHSC worked with partners across the industry, the government and the healthcare system to identify four strategic priorities, these include: ensuring resilience and continuity of supply of medtech products; supporting innovation and encouraging thriving, dynamic markets; developing and enabling infrastructure; and specific focuses on key issues and markets.

In September, we asked the HTN audience: If you could provide additional funding to one area, which area would you choose? The options available were: Data/intelligence tools, patient engagement portals, primary – secondary care interface and virtual care programmes. Explore the results here.