NHS Opens £680m Unified Tech Fund

Government has launched a £680 million funding package available to NHS organisations and health care partnerships across England to support technology projects.

A new funding programme has been launched as part of the government’s first step towards making the process for health services technology funding less complicated.

The £680 million NHS Unified Tech Fund brings together eight national technology funds to support the digitisation of the health and care system. The specific funds are:

  • Frontline digitisation – £308 million
  • Shared care records – £50 million
  • Cyber security infrastructure fund – £27 million
  • Digital productivity – £4 million
  • Digital pharmacy, optometry, dental, ambulance and community (PODAC) – £6 million
  • Diagnostics – £235 million
  • Digital maternity – £50 million.
  • Digital child health – TBC.

The funds aim to:

  • Level up the digital maturity of NHS trusts and consortia
  • Ensure a basic shared care record is in place within all Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)
  • Level up cyber security capabilities, address key infrastructure and other specific weaknesses, with continued provision of back-up reviews
  • Scale what we know works to improve productivity throughout health and care
  • Support the digitisation of the pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services sectors, and improve interoperability
  • Increase system capacity and resilience of diagnostic services. Improve safety and experience for patients and staff through digital capability and reduce manual processes
  • Improve outcomes for women and their children and also to improve safety of clinical care.

NHS organisations and health care partnerships are eligible to apply. Eligibility varies depending on which fund is selected, so applicants must check the guidance for the specific fund to ensure they meet the criteria.

Across all funds, bids will need to have ICS, regional support, local approval, a single point of contact and demonstrate alignment to the forthcoming ICS Digital and Data Transformation Plan. Bidding consortia will need to identify a lead organisation for whom there is a single point of contact.

Each fund has its own application deadline. Check the guidelines for more information.

The Digital maternity and Digital child health funds are not yet open to applications. They are scheduled to open mid-October.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)