The fund, which is open to all NHS trusts and foundation trusts, was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in October last year. The £100 million fund will be split, with £30 million for projects which can be delivered in the 2013-14 financial year, and the remaining £70 million available as a second round of funding for the 2014-15 financial year.
Due to the nature of the funding route (funding is to be made available in Public Dividend Capital), charities, social enterprises or commercial companies are not eligible to submit an application to the fund in their own right. However, NHS organisations may choose to partner with other organisations to deliver the objectives they outline in their proposals. Trusts will have a limited amount of time to submit applications. Expressions of interest for the first round have to be in by midday on 26 February 2014. For more details and guidance notes, visit NHS England’s website.
NHS England says applications must demonstrate that funding will be used to buy technology that nursing staff and midwives will see the practical benefit of using, and that will ultimately benefit patient care. It will fund mobile and digital technology to allow nurses, midwives and care staff to work more flexibly and effectively, helping them do their jobs better, increase patient safety, create a better patient experience and reduce paperwork. Funding may be used to enhance or supplement existing capability, and/or support investment in new capability. NHS organisations can apply for funding for a maximum of three projects in the 2013-14 financial year and three projects in the next.
Hospices can contact Catherine Deakin, Programme Development Manager at Help the Hospices, if they have any questions about the fund, and the charity asks that hospices keep them up to date if they are involved in a bid locally.