Informing Healthcare is to roll-out its own demographics services from this month after sharing systems with England for more than two decades.

The first phase of the Welsh Demographic Services, developed by Informing Healthcare in collaboration with Health Solutions Wales, will deliver online patient tracing, batch tracing and an application programming interface to provide links from other systems, such as the Individual Health Record and patient administration systems.

Roll-out of the service is due to begin this month and be completed by the end of March 2009.

Informing Healthcare said it estimated that 95% of traces for Welsh residents would be found on the Welsh Demographic Service using an ‘advanced trace’ and where no match is found a trace request will be passed on to the Personal Demographic Service in England.

The agency said that in phase one, traces to the PDS would be made using a ‘simple trace’ that would return a record only if an exact single match could be found. It said this limitation was imposed by a Memorandum of Understanding for use of Spine services between NHS Wales and NHS Connecting for Health but was an interim measure.

NHS Wales has negotiated with the National Programme for IT in the NHS to use selected services to preserve existing systems such as the allocation of NHS numbers.

The batch tracing service provided by the Welsh Demographic Service will replace the previous service provided by the NHS Central Register and the National Strategic Tracing Service. The NSTS is one of four services currently used by Wales which are to be replaced by the Spine with the NSTS due to be the first to close in March 2009.

The project will also develop a Welsh Birth Notification Service and link the Welsh access system to the Spine to maintain the ability to receive information about patient registration after the Central Health Register Inquiry System (CHRIS) is decommissioned in 2009.


Informing Healthcare