Welsh Government provides £7.3 million for digital care

Programme comprises 11 projects including work on e-forms, reducing pressure on ambulance service and A&E, and computerised cognitive behavioural therapy

The Welsh Government is to pump £7.3 million into supporting 11 projects to develop the use of digital technology in health and social care.

Vaughan GethingHealth Secretary Vaughan Gething (pictured) has announced the winning proposals from the open call for projects made last year under the Efficiency Through Technology Fund (ETTF) programme.

His department has highlighted the move to speed up the transition to digital patient records by allocating £1.18 million to the National Welsh Informatics Service to lead a “once for Wales” approach to developing e-forms. The programme will focus on nursing e-forms as a priority area.

The largest share of the fund has gone to the project led by Public Health Wales, which will receive £2.5 million over the next three years to improve methods of diagnosing gastrointestinal infections.

Another project will cover the development and implementation of an improved pressure ulcer reporting system within care homes. This will provide an open and transparent reporting system for deep pressure ulcers - one of the recommendations of the Flynn report into cases of neglect of older people in care homes.

Frequent attenders

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) has secured funding, with partners, for a system to help reduce frequent attenders calling for ambulances and/or attending its A&E department. The project will involve working with frequent attenders and is aimed at reducing the burden on its services.

Powys Health Board has been successful in its bid for a computerised cognitive behavioural therapy project, which will support patients with mild and moderate depression by providing quicker access to treatment.

Other projects are:

  • Digitalisation of the lung cancer patient pathway record.
  • Further development and expansion of the existing ETTF Choose Pharmacy platform and roll out to all community pharmacies in Wales.
  • An All Wales Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre – Virtual Technology Clinics (led by CVUHB).
  • A national telehealth programme to reduce hospital and emergency department attendances.
  • Raman spectroscopy technology for colorectal cancer.

Gething said: “I am pleased to be able to fund these 11 new projects that aspire to improve the efficiency of our health care services in Wales.  We received 142 applications in this round of funding - the biggest response to this funding stream so far and I want to congratulate those who have been successful amid fierce competition.

“It is fantastic to see organisations coming up with innovative schemes to improve our health care services. I am looking forward to visit some of the projects in the near future to see first hand what they can achieve.”

 Image from Welsh Government, Open Government Licence