ICS, News

Applications open for ICS £30 million tech fund

At the start of the month we covered the news that the Department of Health and Social Care was opening a £30 million funding programme which would invite integrated care systems to submit bids for digital projects; applications are now open, with the government stating that “project delivery is expected this financial year” to help patients realise benefits as quickly as possible.

ICSs are encouraged to bid for funding based on local needs. It is suggested that the funding could cover technologies to support diagnosis and virtual wards, help tackle waiting lists or expand 3D checks for cancer tests. Other suggestions include wearable devices to help monitor chronic conditions remotely, or logistic solutions such as drones.

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay comments that the 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 in hospitals this winter.”

Dr Vin Diwakar, NHS interim national director of transformation, adds that the adoption of new technologies in the NHS “has already helped more than 210,000 patients be treated in their own homes through the rollout of virtual wards, and this new funding will allow the health service to adopt more innovations that improve patient care and reduce pressure on wider services.”

Last week, we asked four system representatives for their views on digital priorities within their ICSs. Osman Bhatti from North East London Health and Care Partnership, Richard Greaves from NHS Somerset, Andrew Fearn from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB and Kirstie Watson from Northamptonshire ICB all shared their views; click here to find out more.

Last month we asked our readers which area would benefit from additional funding, out of data and intelligence tools, patient engagement portals, the primary-secondary care interface or virtual care programmes. Here’s what the HTN audience voted for.