Northern Ireland is set to transform its health and social care diagnostic services with a new digital archiving system in partnership with Sectra.

The new software system provided by Sectra, called NIPACS+, will allow clinicians in the region’s Health and Social Care (HSC) to view any patient image regardless of location.

Bringing together millions of digital patient images into one single system will help Northern Irish trusts break down silos of imaging information and enhance care for patients.

The NIPACS+ programme will deliver a single imaging system, with Northern Ireland healthcare professionals able to access and interact with patient images across a range of disciplines. Patient care is set to be enhanced with images from all hospitals being available through the system.

Dr Cathy Jack, chief executive at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, said: “This programme signals a major step forward in medical diagnostics for Northern Ireland.

“Moving to one imaging system will mean that from a single point of access healthcare professionals can instantly see all the imaging they need to support patient care.”

It will also support the creation of diagnostic hubs and the development of training facilities. Home reporting capabilities will offer workplace flexibility and help with the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals.

Jane Rendall, managing director for Sectra in the UK and Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland is an example for the world in integrated diagnostics.

“NIPACS has already delivered so much, digitising radiology and more recently pathology, and the benefits delivered are about to be extended and accelerated for more healthcare professionals and their patients across the region. This is an extremely exciting project for Sectra to support.”

The digital pathology project builds on the original Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communication System (NIPACS), which over the past decade has digitised and connected radiology and pathology services.