TAUNTON'S Musgrove Park Hospital is today (Wednesday, September 7) set to receive a windfall of up to £10 million for a scheme helping patients check their test results on their tablet or smartphone.

Musgrove is one of 12 hospital trusts set to be named as 'global exemplars' by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for setting the standard for the NHS to speed into the electronic age and make a difference to patient care.

Somerset patients will be able to go online for a whole range of health needs, including accessing their hospital test results, while they also have a variety of apps for monitoring their own health.

The Government funding of up to £10 million per hospital to be officially announced this afternoon will help them make rapid progress over the next two years.

Musgrove introduced an electronic patient record last year as it aims to go paper-free by 2018 and join up computer systems across the healthcare community countywide.

It is also developing a wide range of user-friendly apps so people can get help and support in managing their own care more easily.

Chief executive Dr Sam Barrell said: “We are thrilled that Musgrove has been chosen for this programme.

"We want our patients to have the best, joined-up care – and that can only happen if we join up digitally across the whole healthcare system.

“GPs will be able to see what has happened to their patients while they’re in hospital, and if our clinicians have vital information at their fingertips, it will really help them in making the best decisions for every patient.

“We know that people in Somerset go online for their shopping, to book holidays and do their banking - this is a chance for the NHS to catch up, and make access just as easy.”

For its digital programme, Musgrove used openMAXIMS, the UK’s first open source electronic patient record, supplied by software company IMS MAXIMS.

It gave Musgrove access to £45 million worth of software development without the need for a licence fee.

The technology, created with clinicians over 30 years, gave the trust more control than an off-the-peg solution, allowing it to tailor the system to local needs and make improvements swiftly.

Shane Tickell, chief executive of IMS MAXIMS, said: "Musgrove are pioneers in digital transformation and their success signifies a new era in the way in which healthcare professionals can use technology to care for their patients.

“Musgrove has achieved a significant amount in the 12 months since the deployment of openMAXIMS.

"The recognition and funding from Government ensures that together, we can continue our journey to deliver safer, better and more accessible care in Somerset, at scale and pace.”