University Hospitals Birmingham named centre of digital excellence

nurse and doctor looking at clinical dashboard on screen

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has been named as a prestigious centre of digital excellence by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The trust, which runs Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), is now one of 12 in line for up to £10 million in additional Government funding as part of new plans to fast-track digital development and improve the digital skills of the NHS workforce.

UHB is nationally recognised as a centre for healthcare IT innovation, having already launched systems such as its patient portal, MyHealth@QEHB, which currently connects 13,000 users securely to their healthcare records online.

Executive Director of Delivery Tim Jones said: “We are delighted that University Hospitals Birmingham has been recognised in this way for its IT and informatics expertise.

“Our track record of collaboration with international partner organisations and industry places our organisation in a strong position to help to deliver the digital aspirations of NHS England.

“Within primary and community care we have already delivered solutions which support cross boundary information sharing, enhancing co-ordinated, proactive and targeted care across the local population.

“As a centre of digital excellence we will now be able to use that experience to deliver value to the NHS and the wider life science economy and help to deliver the digital healthcare leadership of tomorrow.”

UHB was one of 26 acute trusts nationwide, which are already advanced in their use of technology in hospitals, invited to bid for centre of excellence status by NHS England.

The successful centres will now lead the way for the entire system to move faster in implementing better information technology, delivering benefits for patients and sharing learning and resources with other local organisations.

Mr Hunt said: “We want to fast track existing digital excellence, as well as nurture new skills and expertise that we will need to deliver a new breed of digitised services.

“This means on the one hand giving pioneering NHS organisations the financial backing to unleash their full potential, while also making sure that we can build a digitally-confident workforce across the whole NHS.”