£400k boost from national technology fund

Posted on 4th March, 2014

Devon Partnership NHS Trust is one of 75 organisations across the country to have benefited from the Government’s £100m Nursing Technology Fund. More than 220 applications were received, from 139 NHS trusts.  Devon Partnership NHS Trust was successful in both of its bids for funding and has secured almost £400k to support projects that will use new technology to improve care. Vanessa Ford, Director of Nursing and Practice at Devon Partnership NHS Trust, said:  “We were surprised and delighted to be successful in both of our bids and this funding will help our frontline staff to make real difference to people’s lives.  It is an important contribution to our broader, long-term plans to improve the way that we use technology to support people. “Our nursing staff regularly tell us that they want to spend more of their time in face-to-face contact with the people they support and securing this funding will undoubtedly help us to achieve that goal.   In the field of learning disability, it will mean that our teams have access to technology that we know can improve people’s sense of involvement and control, as well as boosting their self-esteem, confidence and overall sense of wellbeing.” Funds from the first of the Trust’s successful bids will see 136 iPads distributed among its learning disability teams.  They are complete with specialist ‘apps’ that are tailored to the needs of people with a learning disability, providing easy-read information and pictorial guides about care that can greatly reduce anxiety and distress.  The bid was submitted as part of the Trust’s Listening into Action programme, following feedback from nursing staff about the potential benefits of using new technology. Commenting on the new iPads, Vanessa Moir, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Learning Disability Services, said:  “Being able to communicate clearly is fundamental to the relationships that we have with the people we support.  Having already used it, and been very impressed, I know that this technology will radically improve the care and support that we are able to provide to people with learning disability needs.” Funds from the second bid will be used to provide 200 Windows 8 hybrid tablets to support the Trust’s community and inpatient nursing staff across the county.  These staff are keen to spend as much time as possible in face-to-face contact with the people they are supporting and the high-specification tablets will enable them to carry out their email, record-keeping and administrative tasks on a mobile basis.