North West Anglia Trust completes major patient administration systems merger

With the UK government continuing to promise ‘digital transformation’ for the NHS, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has successfully installed a new computer system which stores detailed information on all patients.

The project saw 1.67 million current and archived patient records transferred from two separate Patient Administration Systems into one system, which will also serve Trust patients using outpatient and radiology services at Doddington Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely.

At the same time, the Trust merged the systems in use in its Emergency Departments and theatres across Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals, to provide greater continuity across its sites.

David Pratt, director of finance, and executive sponsor of the project, said: “Our clinical staff who work across our hospital sites have previously had to navigate two different clinical systems to perform key tasks, such as looking up test results, accessing patient correspondence and dictating letters. Our new Patient Administration System provides one system for all these functions. This enables us to provide more seamless care for patients and will improve safety and increase efficiency.”

Staff at the hospital had to revert to paper-based operations while the switchover took place, but Pratt said they were “fantastic in dealing with this while keeping our services running as normal”.

“They have been undertaking training to familiarise themselves with the new arrangements and this has gone well, with more than 4,000 individuals completing training.

“Our teams have worked hard to keep the impact on patients to a minimum. I would like to thank any patients who may have noticed a change to the usual services while the new system has been embedded in the past few weeks.”

Beverley Bryant, chief operating officer of System C, added: “This has been a massive and complex deployment exercise.  The new Medway software replaces two separate patient record systems and the project has involved combining data and standardising processes from both.  We are delighted that the Trust and System C teams have worked so well together.”

Former PM Theresa May’s government promised £412 million for technological “transformation” of the NHS – including issuing barcodes for patients and ordering hospitals to stop using paper prescriptions – and a further £75 million earmarked for upgrading the health service’s computer systems.

And more recently, new PM Boris Johnson has made digital tech like AI the centre of his own funding pledges for the NHS.

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