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Investment fund

ITK and the Interoperability Investment Programme (IIP)

Seamless, integrated care within and between organisations requires a step change in the way data is currently shared and used, so that information is available to patients, clinicians and NHS staff, where and when they need it.

It is widely agreed that the modern NHS should be providing patients with the best care possible. The public expects and assumes that the NHS, social care and other organisations talk to each other and have an implicit understanding of their needs.  It should be remembered that for some patients, having access to their information and being involved in decisions about their care is very important.  In addition, all patients want to be treated with dignity and have confidence that the treatment they receive is safe and effective; information sharing plays a pivotal role in this.

The quality of care and the efficiency of delivering end to end treatment to patients is significantly improved by replacing paper-based processes and improving the methods by which information is shared. The Information Sharing Challenge Fund was established to accelerate the exchange of data originating from different systems, address barriers to the development and early adoption of re-usable approaches to sharing information and reduce the associated costs of integration across the NHS.

The Information Sharing Challenge Fund was established to support local NHS organisations adopt a common approach. The fund was available to local NHS organisations and was intended to cover the additional supplier or development costs incurred when moving to an ITK based approach.

The ISCF attracted a larger than expected response, with almost one hundred individual applications requesting a total of £5.6m. These were reviewed by an independent evaluation panel and recommendations made to the Interoperability Investment Board. At the end of this process forty three projects were offered funding.

The NHS organisations awarded under the ISCF scheme are now in the process of signing award contracts. Once organisations have a formal agreement in place we will publish details of the project in the following file. This will be updated daily until all projects are covered by agreements. 

Find out more about each of the trusts that have received awards and details of their individual projects.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates. Answers to some of the frequently asked questions are also available.

See what Chief Technology Officer, Paul Jones had to say about the Information Sharing Challenge Fund and how NHS organisations could make the most of the opportunity.

Should you have any queries please get in touch at toolkit.enquiries@nhs.net

Information about ITK, including Specifications, Accreditation and the Trust Operating Model, is available from TRUD. Users will need to register on TRUD and sign up for the correct 'release sub-packs'.

Three types of award were available: development, adoption and deployment.


For organisations running a project that will result in:

  • The creation of a new information sharing standard and its adoption into the ITK
  • Accreditation of a supplier's product to that standard
  • The deployment of that product
  • The use of the standard to realise business benefit

Development awards were intended to allow extra funding for specifications which were in need of a 'first of type' implementation. We recognised that this would potentially entail some elements of rework as the specifications were beta tested. The development award therefore allowed extra funds for this activity.


For organisations running a project that will result in:

  • Accreditation of a supplier's product to an existing ITK standard
  • The deployment of that product
  • The use of the standard to realise business benefit

Adoption awards were only provided once for an individual supplier's system. This type of award was designed to address the costs associated with developing to an ITK specification and gaining accredited status.

Note: As part of an adoption award the lead NHS trust/organisation will require that your system is developed in accordance with the ITK specifications and that one of the payment conditions is the presentation of an ITK accreditation certificate.


For organisations running a project that will result in:

  • The deployment of a supplier's product that is already ITK accredited
  • The use of that ITK standard to realise business benefit

Deployment awards were available to NHS organisations to roll out ITK accredited systems across the NHS estate.

The emphasis of the scheme was on supporting innovative services that could be established quickly.  As such, it was expected that the majority of awards would make use of existing ITK capabilities.

These projects had to lead to a successful deployment and demonstrate meaningful use of digital information exchange in a health and social care environment by 31 March 2013.

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