NHS Digital has announced £1.4 million funding to help local authorities and NHS partners digitise the patient discharge process.
NHS Digital hopes that the funding will help reduce delayed discharges which are estimated to cost the NHS £820 million every year.
Local authorities can now apply to integrate their latest systems with at least one NHS partner, to create digital assessment, discharge and withdrawal processes (ADW).
Differences between NHS and local authority IT systems currently present an obstacle for organisations wanting to go digital, leaving them struggling with interoperability issues.
Non-digital systems for ADW are one of the main causes of delayed transfer of care. Due to this NHS Digital will offer funding to partnerships that have the potential to speed up the process.
Tom Denwood, director of Data and Integration at NHS Digital said: “Delayed transfers of care constitute a huge problem for both the NHS and local authorities as well as having a significant effect on patients. This funding is intended to support local government and the wider NHS to increase cross-sector interoperability and greatly reduce the time taken to transfer patients between hospitals and local authority social care.”
Ben Moody, head of Health and Social Care at techUK said: “This offers a good opportunity for our members, both to those who are delivering solutions to individual organisations or delivering integrated records, to improve citizen care.”