Trusts respond to Jeremy Hunt’s GDE fast follower announcement

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed the Department of Health’s decision to select two trusts to follow it in making rapid progress in using digital technology to improve patient care.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has now named Wye Valley NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as ‘fast followers’ in its Global Digital Exemplars programme.

This means that they will each receive a share of a £160m fund that is being made available to a number of selected hospitals across the country. The health secretary named a total of 18 acute fast followers at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester on Tuesday 12 September.

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust was named as a Global Digital Exemplar by the government in 2016. It has worked with its exemplar technology partner IMS MAXIMS to implement an open source electronic patient record (EPR) and provide an effective digitisation model for the wider NHS.

Wye Valley NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation have a similar commitment to open source software and will subsequently benefit from developing and sharing enhancements with a community of users.

They are also keen to learn from each other as to how best to use IT for the benefit of staff and patients. The trusts have today responded to the health secretary’s announcement.


Digital drivers

Stuart Hill, deputy chief information officer at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We look forward to working with Blackpool and Wye Valley in making the most of digital technology to drive better and safer patient care. In using IMS MAXIMS open source technology, we are creating a more effective hospital environment, where informed clinicians have crucial information at their fingertips.

“We will be working with IMS MAXIMS, Blackpool and Wye Valley to continue the improvements to this system, so that they can be passed on at no cost to other parts of the NHS. This has always been part of the mission.”

David Warden, Associate Director of Information Management and Technology at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “This is great news for our patients and staff. We recently went live with our MAXIMS electronic patient record. The announcement today means we can build on this good work and provide integrated care where information can securely and appropriately follow the patient.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and IMS MAXIMS as we enhance our digital maturity.”

Tim Bennett, Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Being named as a fast follower is welcome news in our digital transformation drive.

“Working with the support of our Global Digital Exemplar partner and with IMS MAXIMS we will continue our drive to provide frontline staff across our catchment area with access to a single digital patient record to help patients receive the best care possible.”


First to go live

Partnering with IMS MAXIMS, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust became the first NHS trust in the country to go live with an open source EPR in 2015. Wye Valley NHS Trust went live with the EPR in August 2017 and Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust are currently deploying a version of the system with plans to upgrade and roll out added functionality in the autumn.

Wye Valley NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will now use their fast follower status to work with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and IMS MAXIMS to accelerate their digital achievements.

Together, they will also contribute to the national ambition to move towards paperless working by 2020, in order to give NHS staff the information they need to deliver safe and effective care and to give patients the information they need to take empowered decisions about their treatment and health.

Shane Tickell, CEO, IMS MAXIMS, said: “Success in NHS digital transformation is absolutely imperative to ensure healthcare professionals can deliver the safest, most effective care possible. Our collaboration with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has helped us refine a model to achieve this, which can be easily replicated by other healthcare providers. This blueprint has underpinned the great work we have been doing with Wye Valley NHS Trust, who went live with MAXIMS this summer, and Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust who will be implementing a new version of our software this autumn, supporting both of their paperless ambitions.

“Our work together is founded on building strong and robust relationships, where we can support and also challenge each other to deliver the best solutions that are useful and useable by staff. The health secretary’s announcement that both MAXIMS sites, Wye Valley and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals will become fast followers, will allow us to invest even more resource into helping deliver a digital NHS that works for staff and patients at scale.”

Announcing fast followers, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We said last year we would have fast followers who would get £5m each which they would be expected to match. It is a very significant investment. Today I can announce who they are. Congratulations to our fast followers.”

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