Eight separate databases for the Welsh Nursing Care Record (WNCR) have been replaced with a single national instance.
The upgrade went live in November 2023 and replaces multiple instances at each of Wales’ seven health boards and Velindre Trust with a single national database. It will bring additional economies of scale and efficiencies, with the WNCR support team now only having to manage one database.
Previously, if a problem was identified by a health board, the fix would have to be applied eight times across each database. Now a single national database means the fix only has to be applied once at an all-Wales level. The upgrade lays the groundwork to further improve access to information more widely across NHS Wales. The project involved the collaboration of hundreds of NHS colleagues from across Wales.
Luke Ashton, Senior Systems Support Manager at Velindre Cancer Centre, said: “This latest iteration of WNCR has paved the way for unity of clinical systems in Wales. As the first of the Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) systems to operate as one “single instance”, this will allow teams supporting the Welsh Nursing Care Record to focus their efforts one version of the system rather than per Health Board.”
Judith Bowen, Lead Clinical Informatics Nurse at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “A single instance provides a future opportunity for seamless patient care when the patient transfers between organisations.”
Fran Beadle, Chief Nursing Information Officer at DHCW, said: “WNCR has transformed nursing in Wales by standardising documents and providing a digital solution in practice, to enhance patient safety and experience. Collaboration, engagement has been the true success of this project, this has been evidenced once again in supporting the availability of information for healthcare professionals across Wales.”
The Welsh Nursing Care Record launched in April 2021, replacing paper nursing notes on adult inpatient wards with a digital system, bringing improvements to efficiency, safety and the patient experience. Over 83% of eligible wards across Wales are now using the WNCR and over 10.3million inpatient nursing notes have been captured to date.
Work is currently underway to expand the WNCR to capture children’s inpatient assessments, following £1.7m of funding from the Welsh Government’s Digital Priorities Investment Fund.