AN AMBULANCE trust has been given a share of £5m to further develop its technology and improve patient care.
South Central Ambulance Service (Scas), which serves Portsmouth and the surrounding area, is one of three ambulance trusts that have been given cash.
Scas, along with West Midlands and North East NHS foundation trusts, will use the NHS England grant to enrol on the ambulance version of the Global Digital Exemplar programme.
Over the next two years, Scas will receive an additional £1.7m from the government, which the trust will match fund, to continue its work in becoming more digital.
This includes the organisation accessing patient records quicker, sharing relevant information with clinicians while transferring patients to hospitals and forecasting future demand to better cope with it.
Vince Weldon, associate director of information management and technology at Scas, said: ‘This recognition of the trust’s investment in technology to improve patient care and make our staff more effective will allow us to fast-track the next process of developments in the digital age.
‘In particular we will see enhanced use of our vehicles as digital hubs and direct access for our clinicians (both on the telephone and at the patient’s side) to share current care information.
‘All of this will improve our ability still to further provide the right care, first time to the people we serve.’
Before receiving the grant Scas had already implemented digital innovations to make its service more efficient and safe.
That included electronic patient systems, virtual digital telephony platforms and digitally integrated clinical patient management systems and dispatch systems.
Charles Porter, director of finance at Scas, added: ‘We are privileged to have been named a global digital exemplar, which recognises the trust as a successful technological innovator at the forefront of the digital arena.
‘This recognition from NHS England will enable us to deliver further improvements in patient care, efficiency and integration within the local health system and the wider NHS.
‘The additional funding allows us to accelerate our investment in digital technologies.’
The trust’s participation in the Global Digital Exemplar programme will ensure they continue to lead the way in demonstrating how digital technology can positively impact on patient care.