The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has allocated £16 million to 13 hospital trusts to support the roll out of the electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) system.
It is the first step in the distribution of a £78 million fund to help hospitals move away from using handwritten prescriptions over the next three years.
The DHSC said the initial 13 trusts have been chosen because they provide a mixture of acute, mental health and community services.
Allocations have been made to the following NHS hospital trusts: Bolton (£1.02 million); Rotherham (£750,000); Mid Yorkshire (£1.6 million); Humber (£300,000); Northern Lincolnshire and Goole (£940,000); Kettering General (£820,000); University Hospitals of North Midlands (£2.19 million); Barts (£1.7 million); East London (£740,000); East Kent (£1.45 million); Frimley Health (£1.17 million); Buckinghamshire (£1.62 million); and East Sussex (£1.7 million).
Andrew Davies, director of hospital pharmacy for NHS Improvement, said: “There is evidence that electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems will improve safety for patients, reducing the risk of harm and ensuring high quality efficient patient care which is as safe as possible.
“I’m delighted so many trusts have submitted successful bids to accelerate the introduction of these systems to provide safer, better quality patient care. We are now looking for more trusts to bid for funding by the end of January.”
DHSC said the move to electronic prescribing will provide a number of benefits, including an expected 50% reduction in medication errors, the ability to build up a complete electronic record of a patient, and ensure fast access to crucial information on prescribed medicines. It should also increase the use of digital systems and generate new datasets.
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