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Trust invests £750,000 in new paperless A&E patient registration and record system

COUNTY Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has invested in a new paperless IT system at its A&E departments at University Hospital North Durham (UHND) and Darlington Memorial Hospital.

 The new system replaces two different ones which were previously installed at the hospitals, both of which were out dated and required replacing.

 Roy Westhead, Project Manager at the Trust, said: "We wanted a single IT solution across the Trust to make it easier for staff moving between the two sites and also for sharing data, so if a patient is seen one week at the A&E department and then returns, staff have quick and easy access to those notes.

"We've made a significant investment in the new system. We needed something that was fully integrated and allowed staff to keep a more up-to-date record of who was in the A&E department, how long they had been waiting and what they were waiting for. The new system provides information in real time, on a large screen for staff to view, so the flow of patients is managed much more efficiently."

 The system, provided by Ascribe, went live at both hospitals in April. It is integrated with the hospitals' admissions systems removing the requirement for patients' details to be inputted twice, and is also used to automatically generate letters to GPs about treatment given at A&E.

 "It's dramatically reduced the amount of paper we're producing, and storing" Roy added. "It also provides clinical staff with more accurate patient information more quickly - they no longer have to go and look for a paper record, it's all there in the system, so they have the information they need at their finger tips."

 The hospitals have been working hard to ensure migration to the new system has gone smoothly, with the system being well received by staff.

 Sister Sara Dunn, A&E at Darlington Memorial Hospital, said: "The new system has been particularly beneficial in helping us monitor the location and status of all patients in a very busy department."

 Chris Burdess, A&E Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHND, said: "The ability to accurately record, and immediately access vital clinical information is helping us to improve the service we offer patients."

 Stephen Critchlow, CEO of Ascribe, commented: "Ascribe is delighted that the final stage of this project is now live. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Durham and Darlington on future projects."

 County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest integrated care providers in England, serving a population of around 600,000 people across County Durham, Darlington, North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and South Tyneside. The Trust brings together hospital, community services and health and wellbeing services to provide high quality and seamless care for patients.


'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital