The digital ambitions of two Sussex NHS Trusts have been boosted, with the announcement that they will receive up to £6million over the next three years to support their digital transformation.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – which runs our DGH – and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are among seven Trusts nationally who will benefit from this level of funding having been accepted on to wave 2 of the NHSX Digital Aspirant programme. A further 25 Trusts will receive up to £250,000 to help them develop their digital strategies and business cases.

The Digital Aspirant programme aims to aims to accelerate the procurement, deployment and uptake of technology that is needed to underpin digital transformation in the NHS.

Working collaboratively, the funding for ESHT and SCFT will be used for a number of projects within community services.

These include developing robotic process automation (to automate the execution of repetitive process tasks), video consultation, upgrading to N365, Electronic Patient Record (EPR) optimisation and the roll out of AutoPlanner across Sussex. At SCFT, the digitisation of the Intermediate Care Unit has been completed and the focus is now on data transfer and sharing between hospitals and community teams and improving resilience across the organisation. Further areas of work at ESHT include the roll-out of digital patient records through Patients Know Best, a refresh of wifi access points at community sites and further support to enable virtual consultations.

Andy Bissenden, Associate Director of Digital at ESHT, said: “The importance of digital technology in providing healthcare has increased massively in recent years and it will continue to do so as new technologies are developed. This funding is fantastic news for the two Trusts as it means we can really push on with our plans for digital transformation benefitting both our staff and patients who use our community services”.

Diarmaid Crean, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at SCFT, added: “This has been a very exciting opportunity, and we’re happy to be working with ESHT on a Sussex wide endeavour. We are ambitious to use digital technology radically to transform our services and improve care for our patients at SCFT”.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust provides NHS hospital and community services throughout East Sussex.  They provide our services at two district general hospitals, Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital, community hospitals in Bexhill, Crowborough, Lewes, Rye and Uckfield and a number of clinics and health centres, GP surgeries and in people’s homes.