A major NHS Trust has launched an initiative to identify and adopt innovative technologies to transform its financial operations.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, along with its charity CW+, has already established a digital health innovation programme to support patient care.

It is now looking at how technologies including artificial intelligence, automation, chatbots and blockchain could potentially benefit the trust's financial operations through reducing manual processes and improving efficiency.

Chief financial officer Sandra Easton described the initiative as "incredibly exciting".

"We are proud to be a forward-thinking Trust with innovation being a key area of our work, beyond our clinical operations," she said.

"We are really looking forward to working with companies to improve our financial operations but also see scope in expanding this to HR and procurement."

Chris Chaney, CEO at CW+, added: "Our innovation strategy has so far focused on improving patient outcomes, so we are delighted to be exploring this new area with the Trust.

"The potential impact of tapping into exciting fintech innovation in the NHS is significant, which we hope the wider healthcare sector will also benefit from."

The trust has called for expressions of interest from finance technology start-ups, SMEs and larger corporations, with priority being given to companies with a strong London presence and an ability to integrate with existing IT systems.

Successful companies will be invited to meet a panel at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for further discussions.