News, NHS trust

£1m in funding from NHSE for seven trusts through the Wireless Trials programme

NHS England has announced that around £1 million in funding has been awarded to seven trusts as part of NHSE’s Wireless Trials programme, designed to support organisations in introducing “new opportunities for wireless technologies that could help transform patient care”.

Participating trusts include Manchester University NFT, trialling an approach that combines satellite and cloud-based wireless solutions to support connectivity across hospital sites and community services; Sussex Community NFT, introducing an app allowing staff to take observations on tablets and smartphones at the patient’s bedside; and Countess of Chester NFT, seeking to wirelessly link modern diagnostic devices with the trust’s EPR with the aim of speeding up assessment times.

Additionally, Mid Cheshire and Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trusts will be using the funding to install wireless trackers on medical equipment and hospital beds to allow real-time monitoring and location tracking, whilst the North West and East of England Ambulance Services will be rolling out improved wireless connections in A&E and ambulance areas so that patient care data can be transferred more quickly.

Stephen Koch, executive director of platforms for NHSE, comments: “I have been impressed with the innovative ideas coming from the system and we are delighted to be able to award this funding to the successful trialists to develop new or improved wireless solutions for the NHS.

“We’ll be monitoring the outcomes of the trials and are very hopeful that a number of these will be able to be scaled more broadly across the health and social care system saving clinical time, improving patient care and saving money for the system.”

HTN shared an update on the programme last summer, including work from previous trials such as University College London’s ‘find and treat’ service, which utilises tools and software aboard a mobile health unit, and South London and Maudsley NFT’s work to become a 5G-connected hospital.

NHSE states that applications for the next series of wireless trials will open later this year; find out more here.

Click here to read our coverage of NHSE’s most recent board meeting on 1 February, in which an update on the digital portfolio across the NHS was shared.