Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced funding of up to £10 million each to 12 NHS trusts which have been selected to become centres of digital excellence.

Universities will be asked to host the academy which aims to train NHS professionals to deliver digital healthcare.

The funding will mainly be used for technology and infrastructure as well as to improve training for staff and “encourage a new generation of chief clinical information officers”.

The funding was initially announced by NHS England in August with up to £100m available for 10 trusts. However the number has now been raised to 12.

Amongst those that have been successful are Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – which went live with its open source Open Maxims electronic patient record system in 2015, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust.

Hunt said the Department of Health wants 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”.

He added: “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.”

One example of an area in which hospitals are missing a huge opportunity for cost savings is those which do not provide Wi-Fi for patients

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The successful trusts are:

  • City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust
  • West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust