High-tech patient data in Wigan

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GP surgeries in Wigan are now using a new electronic system which they hope will cut out errors in patient records and save money.

The new system will allow medical staff to send all of their patient clinical correspondence electronically to GP practices.

The news comes only a week after an error by a mental health trust was criticised following the death of a Wigan man.

At an inquest into the death of 28-year-old Kristofer Hampson, who was found hanged, the deputy coroner Alan Walsh reported Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHST) after what he called the lack of a “safety net” in procedures.

The inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that a management plan had been agreed for Mr Hampson after he was discharged from NMG, which would be picked up by services in Wigan once he returned to the borough.

However, Dr Sylvia Khan, who carried out the mental health assessment, forgot to send a letter to Mr Hampson’s GP in Leigh after agreeing to as part of his mental health management plan.

The result led Mr Walsh to order a review of services at MMHST.

The new system should mean such problems do not arise in the future as all notes can be sent electronically to GPs.

The system will be used by all 10 provider organisations serving 2.8 million patients across 450 GP practices across Greater Manchester.

This project will encompass NHS organisations right across primary and secondary care, with all GP practices receiving their patient letters electronically.

The team behind the EDT Hub solution say the benefits of sending electronic clinical correspondence include patient safety, improved efficiency of delivery timescales and staff processing time, improved patient experience and significant cost savings.

They also say cost savings alone across the GM community of Trusts are expected to well exceed £1m and this excludes the savings that will be made by GP practices.