A consortium of five NHS trusts across Surrey and Sussex have selected Sectra to deploy a new picture archiving and communication system (PACS).

The NHS trusts involved in the deal will introduce the cloud-based solution which aims to allow professionals to make faster, better informed decisions and provide enhanced care to their patients.

The trusts involved are:

  • Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

The PACS will make it easier for staff to use and process diagnostic imaging. Third party visualisation tools will no longer need to be opened in a separate screen, but can be opened the PACS in patient context.

The deployment will also support a speedier turnaround of important diagnostic reports and help to mobilise a workforce of scarce specialists to support hospitals within the five trusts.

Dr Benjamin Salt, clinical lead for the consortium, said: “Wherever in the group a patient has their scan, clinicians will have instant access to that imaging to inform their judgement, rather than having to request it to be uploaded and downloaded by imaging teams.

“For cancer follow ups, clinicians will have historical imaging immediately to hand. Important operations will be far less likely to face delay due to imaging availability, as will patient discussion at multi-disciplinary team meetings. And an emergency department in one hospital will be able to discuss imaging live with a specialist team at another site.”

The new system will also generate richer imaging reports with hyperlinks, graphs and pictures, to help clinicians access all the information they need to accurately treat cases.

Additionally, the new system will support future integration as necessary, something that becomes more important as AI plays an increasingly bigger role in radiology.

Jane Rendall, managing director at Sectra in the UK and Ireland, added: “Diagnostic imaging often underpins important clinical decisions that make a difference to safe and effective patient care. Whether enabling better access to sub-specialist expertise or changing diagnostic models to improve the speed of decisions, the trusts we are working with in Surrey and Sussex have shown a commitment to ensuring the right image is available to be reported at the right time and by the right person, for the benefit of their patients.”

The Surrey and Sussex trusts will be joining Barts Health NHS Trust and Greater Manchester’s Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust in signing recent deals with Sectra.