Following a contract signing in September, the Trust will now share a common picture archiving and communication system (PACS), with five other trusts in the region that have already deployed the system. This includes 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 move will connect radiologists and other healthcare professionals with seamless access to x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and other radiology imaging that has been captured for patients at different hospitals across Surrey and Sussex.
Additional resilience provided by the new PACS is expected to bring patient safety benefits, with important imaging always available for acute and emergency patients.
Networked PACS based reporting of imaging will also be an important feature, creating the potential for shared review and reporting of imaging by in-demand specialists located in different hospitals.
Dr Tony Newman-Sanders, chief of cancer and diagnostics at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “This is an important step in the strategic future of our diagnostic services that will equip our professionals with 21st century technology that is fit for the future. It will allow us to align with fellow providers in Surrey and Sussex, and provide the means to develop imaging services that are better able to meet the needs of our patients.”
The development will allow the trust to meet important recommendations in Sir Mike Richards’ review of diagnostic imaging in the NHS, also enabling the trust to become an equal partner in the South East 2 Imaging Network.
The new cloud-based PACS service provided by Sectra is expected to reduce infrastructure burdens, enhance security, and allow the flexibility to add more trusts in the future. Ambitions to connect the regional initiative with networks in London, Kent and Wessex are also being explored as part of a wider roadmap.
Jane Rendall, UK and Ireland managing director for Sectra, said: “The addition of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to a forward-thinking group of trusts in the region, will extend benefits to many more clinical teams and their patients.
“Sharing a common connected imaging system opens the potential for regional workforce transformation in radiology, in ways that can improve equity and access for patients to important diagnostic expertise.
“More immediately, diagnosticians in sites across Surrey and Sussex have told us they are excited about being able to better support patients as they move around the region – whether that’s cancer patients, trauma cases or a whole range of pathways where imaging is vital to effective diagnosis and decisions.”