South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Torbay and Southern Devon Heath and Care NHS Trust are taking an A&E system from Ascribe.

Torbay and Southern Devon is also moving ahead with its single community care record project, after putting it on pause a year ago.

Ascribe's Symphony will be used in the emergency department at Torbay Hospital and minor injury units in community hospitals across the Torbay and Southern Devon area.

The unscheduled care system will replace the trusts’ legacy HP Swift A&E system, which involved a heavy reliance on paper.

Torbay Hospital’s A&E handles more than 75,000 patients a year and the ten minor injury units handle 40,000 patients a year.

A statement from Ascribe says these sites will be integrated into a single community clinical database, providing improvements in clinical safety and support for safeguarding vulnerable patients who present for care at different sites.

The trusts are also looking to implement a clinical portal, which will enable them to integrate clinical systems including Symphony and view a summary dashboard of patient data in real time.

“A variety of clinical and administrative staff across both organisations will work closely alongside Ascribe’s implementation team to develop and deliver a fully electronic workflow for medical, nursing, allied health and administrative staff,” the statement adds.

South Devon Healthcare consultant in emergency medicine, Dr Graham Gardner, said: “The trust is making a significant change by implementing Symphony; we will be moving to electronic records for all patients within the emergency department to create opportunities to enhance patient care and management, including handovers to specialist services and our GP colleagues.

“In making these changes the emergency department will make its own contribution towards the trust’s key outcomes of providing the safest care possible and delivering better value within our health community.”

EHI reported last March that Torbay and Southern Devon had paused its high-profile shared community record project while it reassessed the future needs of the system.

It signed a £3.8m, five-year contract to develop a shared community record with New Zealand company Simpl in late 2011, but Simpl’s UK operation went into administration in September 2012.

The project is now moving ahead again and the trust’s deputy chief executive Richard Clack told EHI it remains committed to developing a single community care record. 

“In the last year, lots of work has taken place to evaluate the project and assess our needs for the future, whilst bearing in mind the changing profile of our organisation,” he said.

“We have recently held a vendors’ day to establish what the market currently has to offer for such an ambitious and pioneering piece of technology and we are now in the process of preparing an outline business case to establish the next stages in the procurement process.”