Hospital trust named digital centre of excellence by Department of Health

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has been named a digital centre of excellence by the Department of Health.

The development will see 12 hospital trusts across the country – known as global exemplars – receive up to £10 million over four years to pioneer innovations in information management and technology.

Each of the selected trusts will be partnered with an international organisation to share expertise and will support a new national academy dedicated to training NHS staff in digital skills.

UHS is recognised as a leader in NHS IT having overseen the development of a number of pioneering projects in recent years.

These include the development of My Medical Record – a personal online patient health record – electronic blood tracking via wristbands, a mobile vital signs early warning system and a full electronic record in all critical care units.

In addition, the trust has more than 10 million documents in its electronic patient records system and runs a novel eDischarge summary programme which enables clinical documents to be sent electronically.

Last year, after being named one of 11 NHS genomic medicine centres, the trust launched a project to process the genomic data of cancer patients to help clinicians deliver treatment tailored to individuals.

Through its director of informatics, UHS also chairs the Health Chief Information Officer (CIO) Network, which promotes best practice in NHS informatics.

“Our selection as a global centre of excellence is not only fantastic recognition of our progress in the development of IT across our organisation, but an opportunity to develop further and ensure we remain at the forefront of the latest innovations,” said Adrian Byrne, director of informatics at UHS.

“We will also benefit from the expertise of working closely with another global leader in the field, while also having the chance to enhance relationships with our local partners to support new models of care.”

He added: “We are at a very exciting stage in digital technology development in the health service, empowering patients to take more control over their healthcare and working towards the development of personalised medicine, as well as safer practices.”

Fiona Dalton, chief executive of UHS, said: “This is an absolute credit to Adrian and his team and everything that they have delivered over many years.

“We now have an opportunity to take our informatics to a completely new level and that is a very important and exciting prospect for patients and staff.”

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health, said: “We want to fast track existing digital excellence, as well as nurture new skills and expertise that we will need to deliver a new breed of digitised services.

“This means on the one hand giving pioneering NHS organisations the financial backing to unleash their full potential, while also making sure that we can build a digitally-confident workforce across the whole NHS."

For more information on the NHS digital excellence announcement and for the full list of selected trusts, visit the Department of Health website.

Posted on Wednesday 7 September 2016