PATIENTS at Yeovil Hospital will soon be benefitting from the latest in handheld healthcare technology, following a funding award from the Department of Health.

The Hospital received more than £300,000, after submitting a successful bid to the Department’s Nurse Technology Fund to implement state-of-the-art technology which allows nurses to electronically record patients’ vital signs data.

Instead of using paper-based charts for information such as pulse, blood pressure and breathing rate, nurses on wards will enter the data into a handheld device.

The system automatically analyses the data, immediately identifying any change in a patient’s condition that may require extra attention.

Yeovil is one of just 75 trusts in the country to secure money through the new fund, which was announced by the Prime Minister last year as a way of providing NHS nurses with the very latest in equipment and skills to improve patient care.

Announcing the successful bidders, Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “We received an amazing response to application process and the decisions on choosing the successful projects have been difficult. It has always come back to one key question – how will this project deliver real, practical benefits for nurses, midwives and care staff and their patients.”

Helen Ryan, Director of Nursing at Yeovil Hospital, said: “This is great news for our hospital and our patients.

“We see technology as having an important role to play on our wards, further enhancing the abilities of our skilled and compassionate nursing workforce. This new system will ensure they have instant access to the information they need to make the best possible decisions about a patient’s care, swiftly and safely.

“We already use handheld devices across our hospital for a number of applications, so we see this as continued evolution to support the nursing role.”

The hospital will begin implementing the technology during the coming weeks, piloting it in a small number of wards first and aiming to be using it across all wards by September this year.

This is the latest in a series of successful funding bids by Yeovil Hospital, which has secured more than one million in national healthcare investments in the past year.