News in Brief

News in brief: EPR expertise contracts, competition for research centres, insight hub in Nottinghamshire, and more

What stories in the health tech space have caught our eye over recent days? Let’s take a look.

Three awards for “deep domain capability and subject matter expertise” around EPRs

NHS South, Central and West (SCW) Commissioning Support Unit has awarded three zero value call-off contracts to Xylem Partners, Evolution Recruitment Solutions and Apira, for the provision of “specialist services and capability” to deliver health check assurance on digital systems and solutions.

SCW is commissioned to lead the process on behalf of NHS England and other customers, with the call-off contract set to run for 12 months and the potential to extend for a further year. Combined, the total contract values is not to exceed £333,000.

The contracted suppliers are to provide “deep domain capability and subject matter expertise” around electronic patient records implementation.

NIHR launches open competition to fund new centres for commercial clinical research

The NIHR has announced the launch of an open competition to designate and fund Commercial Research Delivery Centres, which will focus on supporting the delivery of commercial clinical research “for the benefit of the health and wealth of the nation”.

Centres will be funded with an investment of “up to £77.125m over seven years” from April 2025, and will look to respond to the five pillars of the UK Clinical Research Delivery Vision, which include research enabled by data and digital tools.

Professor Lucy Chappell, CEO of the NIHR, said: “I welcome this exciting new competition for NIHR Commercial Research Delivery Centres which will support research from innovative commercial companies to bring access to new treatments to patients for a wide range of health conditions.”

Use of tech to boost rehabilitation in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, people with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and chronic pain will have the chance to benefit from a new partnership between local health and care providers and “wellbeing tech” company Good Boost.

The partnership will see the use of AI in developing personalised exercise programmes and “augmented reality games” to be accessed on waterproof tablets during aqua and land-based classes.

New online service to support young people’s wellbeing in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has announced the launch of a new online service to support children and young people’s wellbeing, providing access to free resources and information to promote learning, healthy lifestyles, and personal growth.

The iDiscover service includes workshops, courses and webinars on topics including managing stress and anxiety, healthy lifestyles and self-care, and is open to young people under 25, their family and carers across Northamptonshire.

Public and patients insight hub launched in Nottinghamshire to reduce duplication of local engagement work

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS has introduced a new public and patient Insight Hub to encourage the sharing of insights and information from a range of local sources, including health, care and voluntary organisations, census data, case studies, and more.

With the aim of reducing “duplication of engagement work” at a local level, hub members will be able to share reports and resources, or search for information on particular topics. Hosted via the FutureNHS platform, the service is welcoming suggestions for further development, and plans to introduce “new helpful features” in the coming months.

New maternity website launched in Suffolk and North East Essex

A new maternity website has been launched in Suffolk and North East Essex, to provide information and support for expectant parents on pregnancy and childbirth. Designed by members of the local maternity and neonatal services, the site will be “regularly updated as new information and guidance is issued”, with plans to introduce information on pregnancy planning and an area for health professionals.

Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICS, said: “Navigating the NHS can sometimes be difficult and there are a lot of things to consider when you find out you’re going to have a baby. This site brings everything you need to know about having a baby and about local maternity services into one place.”