All five sites at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have gone live with a new digital imaging system.

The trust deployed the Carestream Vue picture and archiving communications system, networked across their York and Scarborough sites, in June. The new PACS allows for local and remote reporting on a single system shared across the trust.

The trust serves 800,000 people in York, north Yorkshire, north east Yorkshire and Ryedale.

Dan Petty, consultant radiologist with the trust, said there were “initial difficulties” in the archive migration from the trust’s legacy systems. This was because of capacity issues with the previous system leading to poor access to existing images.

But since the new PACS have been deployed, Petty said there has been a “marked improvement in efficiency with an associated cost saving compared to our legacy systems”.

“It is a fully functional PACS with extensive integrated post processing functionality.”

He added that Carestream also allowed the review of any image acquired at any site from any other location through a single platform.

York has installed Carestream’s Vue PACS, Vue Motion (a vendor-neutral web-based image viewer), Lesion Management, MyVue and Power Viewer.

The trust is one of a final group coming off the picture archiving and communications and radiology information systems contracts that were put in place under the National PACS Programme in 2004.

All trusts were meant to off these contracts by June this year at the latest. Trusts in North East, Yorkshire and Humber and East of England and East Midlands were the last to migrate off their national contracts.

The switch off national contracts has seen a great diversity of local PACS solutions, including cloud solutions and rise in vendor neutral archives. Carestream already has a firm presence in Scotland, where it is the primary PACs across all health boards, linked into a shared national archive.

It has also gained a foothold in the North, deployed as a single PACs in Cheshire and Merseyside, a collaboration of 11 trusts. In September last year, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also signed a ten-year deal with Carestream for a new PACS and radiology information system.

For York, the deployment could help alleviate pressure on a radiology services that carries out 360,000 exams a year.

In its July board paper, the trust said staff shortages within its out-of-hours radiology service at the Scarborough site were creating an on-going patient safety issue.

York did not comment on whether Carestream would address these issues directly but in statement said the new system would mean a more efficient use of resources and free up “rapid reporting support for the Scarborough site when required due to the cross site availability of images”.