Clinicians and IT experts in Southampton have been awarded £1.1million by NHS England to help develop a new digital monitoring system for critically ill patients.
The Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards funding will cover half the total cost of a switch form paper to electronic records in all five intensive care units at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
At present, staff are still required to complete paper charts in general, cardiac, neurosciences and paediatric intensive care units at Southampton General Hospital and the neonatal intensive care unit at the Princess Anne.
The £500million Safer Hospitals. Safer Wards Technology was launched by NHS England last May to help the change from paper to digital records.
The Boards of Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are undertaking a joint exercise to investigate whether there could be benefits of a closer working partnership between the two hospital trusts.
The objective of the exercise will be to discover how improvements can be made to care across East Berkshire and surrounding areas. Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be the lead partner in the analysis with full co-operation from Heatherwood & Wexham Park NHS Foundation Trust Hospital.
After an initial assessment, a decision will be made as to whether Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will fully investigate the effect of a potential acquisition. If the initial assessment does not indicate significant benefits, no further work will be undertaken.
Staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have introduced a temporary restriction on visitors to prevent further spread of the winter vomiting bugs.
While only four wards at Southampton General Hospital remain closed to new admissions, doctors are concerned that sustained high levels of diarrhoea and vomiting in the community could worsen the situation if visitors bring the infection into the hospital.
“We have contained the spread of sickness bugs within hospital well throughout November and December and over Christmas.
But cases have remained high outside and we are now beginning to see that have an effect on us,” explained Judy Gillow, director of nursing at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Despite the restrictions, visiting is permitted on agreement with nursing staff. Anyone planning to visit Southampton General, the Princess Anne Hospital or hospice Countess Mountbatten House is askedto call their relevant ward and department.
Campaigners have raised concerns at new proposals to downgrade hospitals in Eastbourne and Hastings.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Llloyd said plans to cut maternity, orthopaedic and paediatric services were "horrifying". The trust that runs both hospitals said it will launch a consultation on sustaining its health services.