The Welsh Government has made £5.5 million available to support digital initiatives in the country’s health service.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething announced the move, saying that it is line with the Informed Health and Care strategy published in 2015.
The Welsh Government has been working with organisations including the NHS Wales Informatics Service to accelerate a number of key programmes, and pointed to a handful that should receive support under the new round of funding.
They include the Welsh Clinical Portal, which pulls together information from hospital systems to provide the main access point to information for hospital clinicians. It keeps a patient’s record in one place and provides for tasks including requesting tests and creating a discharge advice letter.
Another is the Welsh Community Care Information System, which enables staff in health and social care to share an electronic record of their dealings with patients.
Money will also be provided for a country-wide review of each NHS organisation’s cyber security systems to inform the development of local and national plans.
World class ambition
“In a modern NHS delivering world class care in the 21st Century you need to have the most up to date information technology systems in place. If you want the best technology in the Welsh NHS, you have to invest in IT.”
Informed Health and Care includes a series of digital initiatives with an overall focus on greater prevention and health promotion, with local primary care services supporting the provision of care closer to people’s homes. It places an emphasis on the access to common information, share records and increased use of digital tools.
The new round of funding comes a year after the Welsh Government provided £11 million with a strong emphasis on cyber security and the improvement of back-up infrastructure; then in April provided £7.3 million for 11 projects to develop digital healthcare technology.