Five trusts in Surrey and Sussex install PACS to ease sharing of patient data

A consortium of NHS trusts that covers a population of around 1.2 million has procured a medical imaging system from Sectra. The project, initially focused on radiology and mammography imaging, covers large parts of Surrey and Sussex and will see the Sectra PACS deployed as a cloud-based solution.

Trusts involved are Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust. The system is also expected to link with two other trusts and London hospitals as needed, using open standards to make imaging discoverable and retrievable.

Consortium clinical lead Dr Benjamin Salt, who also works as a consultant interventional radiologist and deputy chief clinical information officer at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Some of the biggest benefits will be for patients who move around the region as they are referred to specialist centres at different trusts – whether that’s for cancer care, trauma, vascular medicine, ophthalmology, head and neck, plastics, liver, pancreatic surgery and more.

“Wherever in the group a patient has their scan, clinicians will have instant access to that imaging to inform their judgement, rather than having to request it to be uploaded and downloaded by imaging teams. For cancer follow-ups, clinicians will have historical imaging immediately to hand. Important operations will be far less likely to face delay due to imaging availability, as will patient discussion at multidisciplinary team meetings.”

Third-party visualisation tools, which needed to be opened in a separate screen, will now open and close in patient context in the PACS, removing the need to move from one system to another. PACS-based reporting will also help to minimise the number of systems radiologists need to log in to and allow the generation of richer imaging reports with hyperlinks, graphs and pictures inserted.

Consultant radiologist, clinical lead and chief clinical information officer at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust Dr Andrew Carne added: “We will reduce unnecessary and harmful duplication and repeat capturing of imaging, including the radiation dose patients are exposed to.”

Picture: Sectra PACS will give clinicians instant access to imaging across the counties.

Published on page 8 of the February 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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