The ambition at the Trust to transform the services we provide through digital technology has been boosted with the announcement that the Trust will receive funding and support to implement a full Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

The EPR will provide a single system where all patient information will be recorded digitally and securely, replacing a number of paper and digital systems currently used in the Trust. This will give clinicians quick and easy access to the information they need at any time of day or night, reduce paperwork and repetition and free up time to spend with patients. It will also remove the need for patients to repeat the same information to different members of staff and improve the overall patient experience by providing care that is smoother, safer and more patient-centred.

The announcement made by NHSX means that the Trust is one of just seven Trusts nationally who will be part of the Digital Aspirant Plus programme. The Trusts will each receive £250,000 seed funding to accelerate the planning and procurement stages of the EPR system and will then receive further support and funding to implement the system.

Andy Bissenden, Associate Director of ESHT Digital, said: “We’re in the early stages of our digital transformation at ESHT but today’s announcement will allow us to take big strides on our journey towards becoming a digitally mature organisation.

“The implementation of an EPR will completely change the way we admit, treat and discharge our patients, modernising and improving the way we deliver patient care across the Trust. This will be a huge programme of work for us over the coming years but it is really exciting and I look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring for both colleagues and our patients.”

Dr David Walker, Medical Director at ESHT and newly appointed Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for the project said: “This is wonderful news for ESHT. The award of these funds in competition with other NHS trusts has come through hard work and meticulous preparation by Andy and the entire ESHT Digital Team. Thank you to all those involved.”

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.”