Claire JohnstonThousands of people with mental health conditions are set to benefit from a "hi-tech care boost" after Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) won £750,000 from the Nursing Technology Fund (NTF).

The NTF’s grant is the largest allocation to any mental health trust in London and will allow C&I to buy state-of-the-art technology such as iPads, laptops and software, which will give patients a speedier, more reliable service and allow them to spend more time with nurses and healthcare professionals.

Claire Johnston (pictured), director of nursing and people at C&I, said: "This is fantastic news for nurses and patients because it gives such a great range of benefits for managing patient care. Our patients can now see a copy of their full care plan, which we hope will be very reassuring for them. One of the questions nurses have been asking me most frequently is 'When are we going to go mobile?’ It's a real thrill to be able to tell them that that day is coming very soon."

The grant is part of the second wave of cash from the fund which was set up by the government in 2012 to help patients by providing better technology for nurses, midwives and health visitors. Recently the government extended the type of organisations eligible for funds to include a wider range of healthcare providers, such as mental health trusts. 

More than 300 iPads and a huge range of supporting software will be funded by the grant allowing nurses and other professionals to get instant access to their patients' records. Grant money is only allowed to be spent on specifically defined projects and must be allocated within a year of the grant being awarded. 

C&I provides a range of mental health support services for people in London including crisis support, help with substance abuse and dementia-related services, among other mental health needs. The trust is about to introduce a new electronic patient record system called Carenotes. 

David Jackland, the trust's associate director of information and communications technology, added: "This is a quantum leap forward for our service provision. This news could not have come at a better time for us as we prepare to go live with Carenotes on September 7. This new technology will have an incredibly liberating effect on our staff and help us enormously in our work with partner agencies. This is nothing short of a revolution in our capabilities.

"There was a lot of number crunching that had to be done including a value for money analysis and a financial analysis in order to meet the Department of Health's expectations. It was time consuming but we all knew how important it was that we got everything right. Fortunately everyone's hard work paid off and we are very grateful to everyone in the trust who worked on it."

To find out more about the NTF visit