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Welsh nursing care databases consolidated into one


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Eight separate databases for the Welsh Nursing Care Record (WNCR) have been replaced with a single national instance, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has reported.

It announced this week that 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.

DHCW said this 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 the fix only has to be applied once at an all-Wales level.

DHCW said upgrade lays the groundwork to further improve access to information more widely across NHS Wales.

Unity of systems

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 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.”

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 and 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.”

Widely used

The WNCR was launched in April 2021, replacing paper nursing notes on adult inpatient wards. It is now used by over 83% of eligible wards and over 10.3 million inpatient records have been captured to data, said DHCW,

Work is currently underway to expand the WNCR to capture children’s inpatient assessments, supported by £1.7 million of funding from the Welsh Government’s Digital Priorities Investment Fund.

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