HOSPITALS are being given millions of pounds to introduce electronic prescriptions that “reduce potentially deadly medication errors”.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is one of 16 hospitals across England to receive £16 million in funding in a bid to replace outdated paper prescriptions and improve patient safety.

The move is part of a wider NHS plan to eliminate paper prescribing in hospitals and introduce digital prescribing across the entire health service by 2024.

According to the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), e-prescribing can reduce medication errors by up to 30% compared with old paper systems, as well as saving NHS staff time.

Since 2018, 216 NHS trusts have already received funding to make the jump from handwritten notes and paper medicine charts to electronic systems.

“We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world,” said Nadine Dorries, minister for patient safety.

“The introduction of digital prescribing systems has helped us reduce potentially deadly medication errors and save our hardworking staff valuable time, enabling them to dedicate their full attention and care to patients.

“As we enter what is set to be a challenging winter, the best way we can continue to protect patients and staff is if we all work together and continue to follow the national restrictions to suppress the virus.”

The funding will be shared between the following trusts:

– University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (£1,213,000)

– Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (£970,000)

– Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (£1,423,000)

– Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (£1,485,000)

– West London Mental Health NHS Trust (£1,308,000)

– Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (£1,485,000)

– Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (£96,000)

– Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (£1,485,000)

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (£400,000)

– Weston Area Health NHS Trust (£673,000)

– Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust (£882,000)

– Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (£960,000)

– Medway NHS Foundation Trust (£1,485,000)

– Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust (£342,000)

– Airedale NHS Foundation Trust (£534,000)

– Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (£1,188,000)