• £160m allocated for digital acute “fast follower” trusts, but half will be raised locally
  • At least 25 trusts will buddy with first wave of “exemplars” to deploy the same IT systems
  • Single NHS patient app to be launched by end of 2018

The government will distribute more than £100m to a second wave of digital trusts, the health secretary is expected to announce tomorrow.

At the Health and Innovation Expo in Manchester, Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce 18 “fast follower” acute trusts and at least seven mental health trusts, which will be funded to buddy with more digitally mature “exemplar” trusts.

Acute fast followers will split £80m and the mental health trusts will get £21m, or £3m each. The money, to be matched locally, will go towards improving trusts’ IT systems through till 2020-21.

The global digital exemplar programme’s first 12 of 16 exemplar trusts were announced at the Expo last year.

The programme is based on the recommendations of Professor Robert Wachter’s review of NHS IT and focuses on funding the most digitally advanced trusts first, which will then be expected to provide a blueprint for the rest of the NHS.

Every trust will eventually follow one of the exemplar blueprints, picking the same IT systems and deploying them with help of the exemplar trusts.

HSJ reported last month that the Treasury has approved funding for a second wave of digital trusts.

The acute fast followers

  • Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Foundation Trust (buddying with Alder Hey Children’s FT)
  • University College London Hospitals FT (buddying with Cambridge University Hospitals FT)
  • South Tyneside FT (buddying with City Hospitals Sunderland FT)
  • Chelsea and Westminster FT (buddying with Imperial College Healthcare Trust)
  • Bedford Hospital Trust (buddying with Luton and Dunstable University Hospital FT)
  • Gateshead Health FT (buddying with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals FT)
  • Royal Berkshire FT (buddying with Oxford University Hospitals FT)
  • North Middlesex University Hospital Trust (buddying with Royal Free London FT)
  • Liverpool Women’s FT (buddying with Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust)
  • North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals FT (buddying with Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust)
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust (buddying with Salford Royal FT)
  • Wye Valley Trust (buddying with Taunton and Somerset FT)
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals FT (buddying with Taunton and Somerset FT)
  • Heart of England FT (buddying with University Hospitals Birmingham FT)
  • The Whittington Hospital Trust (buddying with University Hospitals Bristol FT)
  • Hampshire Hospitals FT (buddying with University Hospitals Southampton FT)
  • Milton Keynes University Hospital FT (buddying with West Suffolk Hospitals FT)
  • Countess of Chester Hospital  (buddying with Wirral University Teaching Hospital) 

The mental health fast followers have not been named.

Two exemplar trusts, Taunton and Somerset and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals, will be assigned two fast followers.

Mr Hunt is also expected to announce a single integrated NHS patient app, which will allow patients to book GP appointments, access NHS 111, order prescriptions, record data sharing preferences and access their health information.

The app will be available by the end of 2018.

Mr Hunt is expected to say: ”People should be able to access their own medical records 24/7, show their full medical history to anyone they choose and book basic services like GP appointments or repeat prescriptions online.”

“I do not underestimate the challenge of getting there – but if we do it will be the best possible 70th birthday present from the NHS to its patients.”

Mr Hunt announced similar patient digital services at last year’s Expo, and the year before, including the development of a “blue button” patient accessible digital health record and the booking and ordering of prescriptions through the NHS.uk website, which is replacing NHS Choices.

He will also announce that Care Quality Commission inspections of online health services, which have already begun, would also likely be strengthened, with a new consultation on changes expected to be launched tomorrow.

This story was amended on 11 September after NHS England corrected earlier information from the Department of Health that acute fast followers would be given £160m of central funding.