Seventeen trusts in the South West of England have signed a deal with two tech suppliers to support better sharing of diagnostic images.

The joint agreement with Wellbeing Software and Insignia Medical Systems will facilitate cross organisational image sharing through Wellbeing’s Cris Connect and Insignia’s Regional Image Sharing Platform (RISP).

Trusts in the region will be able to create combined specialist worklists to create a single source of workflow using Cris Connect. It means a scan taken in one hospital can automatically be shared with other sites in case the patient needed treatment elsewhere.

The programme, joint funded by the Cancer Alliance and NHS England, will be implemented in three waves, with the first starting in March 2021. It involved connecting Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

The first stage will provide valuable use case data for the remaining trusts to join the programme later in the year.

Kate Smith, commercial director at Wellbeing Software, said: “The 17 trusts across the region have recognised the crucial role that shared reporting plays in an effective healthcare strategy.

“Our Cris and Cris Connect solutions enable clinicians across different organisations and departments to collaborate to leverage both scarce and specialist skills.

“We are excited to continue working with the trusts that are already utilising our software, as well as forging relationships with new partners.”

Collectively the trusts perform more than more than four million radiology reports every year. Some 80% of these are already processed by Wellbeing Software with its radiology information system, Cris, already in use at 13 of the trusts.

Wellbeing’s Advanced Order Comms will also be included in the deployment, which includes additional alerts to the workflow.

These alerts highlight failed or cancelled order messages from the Order Comms system (OCS) to radiology. It also notifies referrers of any patients who did not attend.

Diagnostic images will be made available by Insignia Medical, with communication between Cris and Insignia ensuring images are moved between trusts and available on the central store when required.

Richard Dormer, managing director at Insignia, said: “We are excited to be working with Wellbeing to deliver a revolutionary sharing service for the trusts in the South West.

“This project opens many opportunities to transform how healthcare is delivered, to help deliver regional efficiencies and improve outcomes for patients.”

Sunita Berry, managing director of the Peninsula Cancer Alliance, added: “Digital technology is at the forefront of development in medicine, and we believe that by implementing image sharing technology across all platforms we will be able to improve the effectiveness of our treatments.”

The 17 trusts to sign the deal are:

  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • Weston Area Health NHS Trust
  • Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Bristol NHS Trust
  • North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust (Now University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Now University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust