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Surrey and Sussex extends imaging technology to six trusts


Gary Flood Correspondent

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Medical CT or MRI scan on computer monitor
Image source: Terelyuk

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is to join the use of a common picture archiving and communication system (PACS) with five other nearby NHS trusts across the two counties.

Ambitions to connect the regional initiative with networks in London, Kent and Wessex are also being explored as part of a wider roadmap, says the 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. The additional resilience provided by the new PACS is also expected to bring patient safety benefits, with 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.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare thus joins up imaging tech use with 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.

Doing so will also allow the organisation to meet important recommendations in Sir Mike Richards’ 2020 review of diagnostic imaging in the NHS. It also enables the trust to become an equal partner in the South East 2 Imaging Network.

Commenting on the move, 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.”

Surrey and Sussex’s chosen implementation partner for connecting to the shared imaging system is imaging IT solutions specialist Sectra.

“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,” said its UK and Ireland managing director, Jane Rendall.

“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.”

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