Digital Grants for Automation from NHS Digital

The NHS Digital initiative has come about as a response to the clear need for smarter ways to improve efficiency and saves costs for healthcare providers. Whether you’re in a Primary Care Network, or an Acute Care Network, investing in automation can save you time and money.  

What is automation? 

When we hear the word robots, often the first image that springs to mind is of a machine with springs and buttons; mechanical joints and wires everywhere. However, technology has made leaps and bounds in software automation and has led us to Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA uses robots to automate repetitive, time-consuming processes. These robots aren’t mechanical – they are licensed out from major RPA vendors such as Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Powershell. People looking to automate their businesses invest in bot licenses, and then those bots are programmed to fulfil a variety of tasks.  

The beauty of RPA is that it functions 24/7. If there are 168 hours in a week, one robot can work those hours, but because a robot works up to 7 times quicker than a person, that’s the equivalent of employing masses of extra staff for a much lower cost. These robots can then be allocated to automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks freeing up both clinical and administrative time.  

So, why RPA for the NHS?  

Even before COVID-19 pandemic, NHS workers were feeling the strain of longer hours, more admin, and reduced resources. The pandemic only served to highlight these issues faced by every NHS office, leading to the NHS facing burnout and a workforce crisis. Let’s face it – our workers are doing their level best to provide the greatest level of care, but are often burdened by paperwork and admin.  

Grants for Automation 

NHS Digital has responded to this crisis by introducing new technology into healthcare, and more recently, by piloting an initiative providing grants to NHS offices interested in Automation.  

The first set of these digital grants were given out this year, with an initial round of bidding closing 18 July 2022. Thereafter, offices that had successfully bid for these grants were allocated the funds needed to introduce automation into their offices.  

We were immensely proud that as long-time RPA consultants, we were approached by these offices to assist in the bidding process. We successfully helped our partners with their bid, and we are actively working with these offices to set them up in automation. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the NHS and we’re looking forward to seeing the success of this initial pilot programme. 

With this pilot programme currently being rolled out, we’re looking forward to the next set round of grants. If you would like to get an alert about the next set of bids, make sure to follow our page, and join our LinkedIn Group Automation for the NHS