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Government lends £140m to tackle bureaucracy

A government loan of £140m has been made to reduce the amount of time NHS nurses and midwives spend on paperwork and bureaucracy.

The majority of the money (£100m), which NHS organisations will have to pay back a percentage of, is planned to be spent on new technology to free nurses and midwives to care for patients and help make 'essential patient details' instantly available on a ward, at the bedside or in the community.

New technologies proposed include digital pens and handheld mobile devices and those organisations that receive positive feedback from patients in the 'Friends and Family Test' will not have to repay any of their technology loan.

"Too often nurses have been met with a barrage of bureaucracy - the boxes have been ticked and the quotas have been met,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.

"My mission with the NHS is to change that. We need to focus relentlessly on improving the care people get, and we're taking some big, practical steps to achieve that.”

The additional £40m will be used to fund extra leadership training to skill up the next generation of nursing and midwifery leaders.

Up to 1,000 nurses and midwives will receive leadership training and support in 2012 and the number is expected to rise to 10,000 over the next two years.

Louise Silverton, Deputy General Secretary at Royal College of Midwifery welcomed the money as long as it “genuinely reaches frontline midwives”.