Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust (PCT) has awarded the contract for software for its new walk-in-centre to clinical decision specialists Plain Healthcare.

The PCT opened its new £2m Walk-in Centre (WiC) in Eaglestone on July 4th and have opted for Plain’s FaceToFace Odyssey clinical decision support product to assess patients and decide on the urgency of examination.

Plain’s head of sales and marketing, Chris Coyne told E-Health Insider: “FaceToFace Odyssey offers varying levels of support ranging from an electronic record of the consultation to a sophisticated guide to history taking, examination, diagnosis and treatment – which is exactly what Milton Keynes needed for its new WiC.”

Coyne added that success at Milton Keynes would be an incentive for other trusts to take up the software, following a recent announcement by Patricia Holmes at the Department of Health allowing trusts to use whichever system they want in WiCs.

“Up until recently, WiCs were forced to use the same system as the one used by the NHS Direct call centres. Now that the DH has devolved budgets for the IT for WiCs to PCT’s, we are hoping to see more trusts looking to switch to the FaceToFace Odyssey solution, we are getting a great deal of interest and we hope to expand our client base.”

FaceToFace Odyssey was chosen for its simplicity of use and the ease with which NHS staff are able to train on it.

Coyne told EHI: “Milton Keynes liked FaceToFace Odyssey because it provides them with the ability to create an electronic patient record (EPR) on the system, which can be linked and accessed at any time. Staff are able to answer a series of assessment questions on the system, before deciding how urgent the case is and which doctor should deal with the case.

“Clinicians can then use the system to produce contemporaneous, indestructible records of every aspect of every consultation, maintaining patient-doctor confidentiality, but creating a lasting record of the patient’s treatments which can be accessed by any authorised Odyssey user.”


The system was first implemented in a high street branch of Boots the Chemists in Birmingham, who operate a WiC and has been noted for its usefulness in reducing waiting times. Nine trusts have switched to the system, since the DH made the announcement.

Sarah Chilvers, CEO of ChilversMcCrea Healthcare, who run the Milton Keynes WiC said: “The WiC team members are all delighted with the software solution from Plain and, as the UK’s leading independent provider of NHS primary care services, it is vital to have the comfort that first-rate support systems provide.”