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Digitising Lloyd George health records could save NHS millions, claims Trust

Derek du Preez | April 5, 2013
St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service (StHK) has launched a new managed service to help GPs digitise and access their aging Lloyd George files, which could pave the way for the NHS to save tens of millions of pounds through reduced administration.

All records are stored within StHK's data centres, which are within the walls of the NHS, and access provided over a network connection like N3.

Also, as part of the deal, any new patient records will be collected by StHK on a regular basis and added to the database at no additional cost to the practice.

Neil Darvill, director of informatics at StHK, believes that there is potential for the service to not only help GPs free up space, but also for the NHS to save tens of millions of pounds through reduced logistics and administration of Lloyd George records when patients join and leave GPs - if uptake is widespread.

"Any new patients going into practices, old patients leaving, student populations going into a place, all those changes are going on up and down the country. There's a big service that just collects Lloyd Georges, takes them to a central process, stores them for a while, then redistributes them to where the patient is now registered. This happens hundreds of thousands of times a year," said Darvill.

Darvill gave the example that at Grove House Practice, there is another GP right next door, and if a patient was to leave Grove House to go to the neighbouring practice, Lloyd George records would have to be found by Dr. Wilson's team, collected and sent to a central distribution area, sorted, and then sent back to the GP next door. A very time consuming and expensive system.

"If we had the coverage of enough GP practices across the country we could actually offer this service over the network at a cheaper price than what is currently being offered."

He added: "If we had some central support from the Department of Health that saw the benefits of this type of approach, which could make the service better, it could save tens of millions, if not more."

 

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