2023-2024 Project Call for Digital Solutions in Primary Care

*This project call has now closed*

The Academic Health Science Network North East North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is launching a project call, inviting applications from innovators to bid for funding to develop digital solutions that address two digital needs within primary care.

We are looking for digital solutions that will help to empower patients in a Shared Care Prescribing Agreement, or a sustainable solution to help primary care services to meet NHS Net Zero targets.

Deadline: Monday, 10th July at 9am

Project call title: Project Call for Digital Solutions in Primary Care

Lead Organisation Location: Academic Health Science Network, North East North Cumbria

Value: We are looking to fund projects up to a maximum of £20,000


The AHSN NENC is commissioned by NHS England’s Digital First Primary Care team to deliver the Digital Pioneers programme, which aims to support digital transformation in Primary Care.  Applications must ensure they align with the overall aim of the Digital First Primary Care priorities (please see application form below for more details). It is recommended that projects also align with North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board digital care priorities.

Applications are welcomed from companies of all sizes, individuals, NHS teams and charities interested in forming collaborations to develop solutions for primary care.

Funding can be sought to deliver a project that addresses one of the two following focus areas:

Focus area 1:

How can we digitally support patients in Shared Care Prescribing Agreements?

A Shared Care Agreement (SCA) is an agreement between a patient, GP, and the patients hospital consultant. It enables the care and treatment a patient receives for a specific health condition to be shared between the hospital and GP. This agreement can only be put in place when a condition is stable or predictable.

A SCA contains information about medicine, guidance on prescribing and monitoring and the responsibilities of the consultant (in the hospital), GP and patient. For a Shared Care Agreement to work effectively, everyone involved must understand and follow it and communicate effectively.

Patients in a Shared Prescribing Agreement currently face a number of challenges, including:

  • Lack of continuity of care – SCA can lead to a fragmented approach to patient care. When patients receive prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers, it may become challenging to ensure consistency and coordination in their overall treatment plan. This lack of continuity can make it difficult for patients to keep track of their medications and understand the rationale behind different prescriptions.
  • Patient confusion and responsibility – With shared care prescribing, patients may receive prescriptions and instructions from multiple healthcare providers. This can lead to confusion regarding which medications to take, potential drug interactions, and responsibility for managing their own care. Patients may face challenges in understanding and adhering to complex treatment plans, resulting in suboptimal health outcomes.

Our challenge to you: To develop a digital solution that fits into primary and secondary care pathways which empowers patients when they are in a Shared Care Prescribing Agreement – the solution should aim to empower patients whilst relieving workforce pressure in Primary Care. Any applications from industry must demonstrate collaborative working with NHS partners throughout the whole project.

Focus area 2:

How can digital technologies improve sustainability in primary care?

In the North East and North Cumbria, the region’s NHS and other partners has developed a Green Plan outlining how it will reduce its carbon footprint to not only benefit the environment, but also the health and wellbeing of local people too. Led by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, the plan outlines a vision to become England’s greenest region by 2030.

To achieve this, every part of the NHS must take an active role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Primary care is a huge contributor to overall NHS carbon footprint and is responsible for 23% of the total NHS emissions footprint, or 1% of the UK’s emissions.

Our challenge to you:

To develop a digital solution which helps Primary Care reduce their carbon footprint and promotes sustainability. The solution could help reduce waste, improve energy efficiency and encourage patients to reduce their carbon footprint.


We invite projects proposals up to a value of £20,000 that can be delivered within a 6-month period. Projects must have a digital or technology focus and be led by or delivered in partnership with a primary care team.

Successful projects will be expected to provide an interim report, describing activity and progress against the milestones, defined in the original application. Projects must have measurable benefits and be reported against.

The project will be accountable to: Emma Richardson, Programme Manager, AHSN NENC

Please submit your proposal by completing the Application Form, summarising:

  • the project proposal and how it aligns to the focus area
  • milestones & outputs
  • how the funding will be used
  • outline collaborative working with NHS partners
  • how the solution supports system-wide working
  • you must give consideration to Patient and Public Involvement and Digital Inclusion.

Download application form

For an informal discussion or advice and guidance please contact Programme Manager Emma Richardson on [email protected]

Deadline for submission of applications is 9am, Monday 10th July 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by 4th August 2023 – projects should commence by  11th September 2023 and be completed by 31st March 2024, at the latest.