Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust has deployed a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) from Sectra as part of a new region wide approach to analysing patient images.

Pennine is the first of eight trusts in the Greater Manchester area to deploy the technology from Sectra, which aims to support faster diagnoses and region-wide collaboration.

The technology enables the analysis of x-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, mammography and other diagnostic images, and could be used to support new possibilities around artificial intelligence (AI).

It comes after the Greater Manchester Provider Federation Board signed a landmark contract with medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra in October 2020. The agreement is one of the largest imaging initiatives of its kind in the NHS and in Europe.

Once live and rolled out in more hospitals clinical staff will be able to instantly access patient images captured at any of the participating NHS trusts in the region.

This will support healthcare professionals making decisions at the point of care and help staff carrying out reports used to inform diagnoses.

Elaine Quick, Greater Manchester’s picture archiving and communication system (PACS) implementation lead, said: “I am really impressed with how teams across the trust have worked with our partner Sectra to get this in place quickly whilst simultaneously dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19 and winter pressures in the NHS.

“This first go-live is the start of the main journey. We will be able to maximise how our staff work across different trusts and we will be able to connect 15 years’ worth of rich data currently isolated in individual trusts.”

Other hospitals due to deploy the PACS include:

  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group)
  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Jane Rendall, managing director UK and Ireland at Sectra, added: “Greater Manchester is delivering fast on its determination to get modern tools and crucial information to the people that need them.

“Diagnostic imaging is a crucial part of patient care. For the millions of people covered by this new programme, the first steps have been taken in an initiative that will transform the way they are diagnosed and treated.”