GPs plot digitisation of 2.6 million paper patient records

Written by Sam Trendall on 17 December 2019 in News
News

GPs in the West Midlands and north west seek supplier to support creation of electronic info for documents that are up to 70 years old

Credit: Pxhere

Two NHS organisations representing more than 400 GP surgeries and 2.6 million patients are to embark on a multimillion-pound programme to digitise paper records that are up to 70 years old.

Birmingham and Solihull CCG and the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System have both published contract notices for the digitisation of their Lloyd George records – the paper documents that, for many years, formed the system for storing general practice information on patients. 

Earlier this year NHS England published a five-year plan for GP reform that set out its expectation that the digitisation of Lloyd George records across the UK’s near-7,000 surgeries will be completed by 2022.

According to the procurement notice published by Birmingham and Solihull CCG, this process will involve creating digital copies of documents that are, in some cases, as old as the health service itself.


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“Paper records are over 70 years old in a state of deterioration – therefore becoming illegible – coupled with the fact the information they hold is vital and paramount for safe medical practice,” it said. “The security and accuracy of these records is vital and needs to be preserved.”

The digitisation work will cover 217 sites across 169 individual practices. The project will involve working with three different healthcare records systems: Emis; Vision; and SystmOne.

The CCG said it would take a “phased approach” to digitisation, beginning with a small number of practices that represent a cumulative total of no more than 80,000 patients – out of 1.3 million overall across the region.

According to the contract notice, the chosen supplier will sign a deal with the CCG worth an estimated £4.3m. Bids are open until 13 January.

Lancashire and South Cumbria, meanwhile, has also kick-started the process of digitising patient records across its estate of about 230 GP surgeries. 

The region’s integrated care partnership covers eight separate clinical commissioning groups, representing Morecambe Bay, Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, Blackburn with Darwen, East Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, and West Lancashire.

There are about 1.3 million patients registered with GPs across the region. 

Digitisation will begin in the 33 practices in Morecambe Bay, which each have an average of about 7,000 citizens on their books. Funding for this work is already in place.

“There will be potential, where funding becomes available, to roll out to the rest of Lancashire and South Cumbria,” the contract notice said.

The contract will be worth about £4.2m to the winning bidder. Submissions are open until 13 January.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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