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.
The Digital maternity and Digital child health funds are not yet open to applications. They are scheduled to open mid-October.
How To Apply
Each fund has its own application deadline:
- Frontline digitisation - 15 October 2021
- Shared care records - 22 March 2022
- Cyber security infrastructure fund - 23 December 2021
- Digital productivity - 30 November 2021
- Digital pharmacy, optometry, dental, ambulance and community (PODAC) - 7 October 2021
- Diagnostics - 23 December 2021
- Digital maternity - Not currently open. Will open to bids on 18 October 2021
- Digital child health - Not currently open. Will open to bids on 18 October 2021.
Applications must be submitted through the online application form. Each section gives the application criteria for each fund and a maximum application value, if applicable.
Applicants may apply for multiple funds. However, applicants will not be awarded from multiple funds for the same purpose.
Questions about the Unified Tech Fund or the application process should be submitted by email to [email protected].
Useful documents & links
Addresses and contacts
For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:
- Unified Tech Fund Enquiries
Email: [email protected]