Hart green-lights major Welsh projects

  • 8 January 2009

Edwina Hart,
Welsh Health


Welsh health minister Edwina Hart has approved the outline business case for the roll out of the Individual Health Record across Wales.

The decision to approve the roll out to GP surgeries and unscheduled care providers comes with £4.7m of new funding to cover the roll out and support for seven years.

Informing Healthcare will now develop a full business case for the roll out, which will start in the 2009-10 financial year.

A spokesperson for the programme said no decisions had been taken about how the procurement process would work or how many contracts would be awarded.

So far, the IHR has been successfully trialled in Gwent, where Graphnet was the contractor for the project which extracts demographic and other basic patient details from GP systems so it can be shared with out-of-hours and other care providers.

CSW Health won the contract for North West and South West Wales, but its involvement ended when it went into administration in November. A considerable amount of preparation work had been done, with 100% of GP practices signed up.

Informing Healthcare’s spokesperson indicated that since national roll out will be phased it may start in North West and South West Wales. However, she stressed that no decisions have been made on deployment schedules or timescales. For the moment, the Gwent project will continue.

Hart’s decision only affects unscheduled care services. The IHR is being used in one medical assessment unit in Gwent and further acute trials are planned. But a wide-scale acute roll out would probably require a further business case.

The IHR roll out is the second major announcement affecting Informing Healthcare programmes to be made in the past fortnight. Just before Christmas, Hart also approved £7.9m plans to replace the 13 computer systems in Wales’ 18 main pathology laboratories with a single system.

She said the current systems were approaching the end of their technical life and a single system would deliver staff and patient benefits, making it easier for staff to move between sites and making results more readily available.

Informing Healthcare’s chair, Ian Kelsall, said it was very pleased the two business cases had been approved and its work would now gather pace.

However, the programme does not expect the “long, detailed and very complex” procurement of the laboratory information system to be complete before the end of the financial year 2009/10.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up

Related News

Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing ☕

Today's edition includes GOSH using AI to help identify Parkinson's Disease and a look at the challenges of evaluating digital health tech.
NHS Greater Manchester launches digital care plan and app

NHS Greater Manchester launches digital care plan and app

Greater Manchester is rolling out a patient app alongside digital care plans, as part of the GM Care Record.
Three things we must do now to prevent patient harm from digital tech

Three things we must do now to prevent patient harm from digital tech

In the wake of reports linking IT flaws to deaths of patients, and the recent cyber attack on pathology in south east London, Chris Fleming…