Local NHS Trust chosen as one of three nationally to pilot new programme to drive forward digital transformation in mental health services

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as one of only three Trusts nationally to participate in the NHSX Digital Aspirant Plus (DA+) programme for mental health and community services.

The DA+ programme aims to provide staff with an Electronic Patient Record system which is secure and easy to use in their day-to-day work. Resulting in the time it takes staff to find patient information and navigate digital systems to be shortened, increasing productivity and accessibility when working for the NHS.

Initially, the Trust will roll this out across their mental health services, which cover a patch across Hull, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

As part of DA+, the EPR Innovator Project for Mental Health and Community Sectors will enable the selected organisations to partner up, to enable investment and support the development of EPR capabilities that are currently not provided across the market. 

For example, through the programme, Trusts could build capability around:

  • Mobility and flexible working to support mobile workforce, community working and remote access
  • Interoperability of clinical and operational systems
  • Remote monitoring and supporting people at home
  • Support for full patient pathways

During 2021/22, NHSX is supporting the participating organisations to develop their plans, including seed funding of up to £250,000 to accelerate their planning and readiness activity. 

Lee Rickles, Chief Information Officer at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be an EPR Innovator Project for Mental Health. Our initial focus will be improving the user experience, meaning that the system will be designed around the person using it and adhere to staff needs. We will also be recruiting our operational Digital Champions to help us develop the EPR alongside these needs. Working with NHSX will bring new ideas, solutions and challenges to the exciting programme of work.”

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“Electronic Patient Record systems are the building blocks of good digital healthcare, but they are also complex and expensive to procure. At NHSX, we want to positively shape the EPR market in England and help local NHS organisations procure new, modern solutions and drive wider innovation in the market.

These exciting projects will not just help the seven selected Trusts deliver better care for their patients and a better experience for their staff, but it will also help those other NHS organisations looking at EPR procurement.”

The Trusts selected to take part in the EPR Innovator Project for Mental Health and Community Trusts are:

  • Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Furthermore, four other Trusts have been selected to take part in the EPR Innovator Project for Acute Trusts. These are:

  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust