Nearly two million patient records go digital – freeing up 18 football pitches worth of space.

The digitalisation of almost two million patient records across Lancashire and South Cumbria is due to get underway soon.

Redmoor Health, based in Preston, is managing the digitising of the Lloyd George notes across the region, in partnership with the NHS.

The project involves general practices from across eight Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who are working in a partnership with health and social care organisations in Lancashire and South Cumbria, known as Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

NHS CCGs commission or “buy” primary care services on behalf of almost 1.8 million patients in the region.

Redmoor is currently working alongside 53 practices in Morecambe Bay CCG to support them to get “digital ready”, the first of the areas to go live. It will involve the digitalisation of 450,000 records for 350,000 patients.

During the last year, Redmoor Health has audited and recorded the existing processes for Lloyd George note storage across all practices in the region. As well as recording the storage, the team also evaluated the available technology solutions on the market as well as identifying the benefits to the whole ICS system once the records are made digital.

The team also supported the development of a business case allowing the ICS to procure an appropriate IT solution.

Lloyd George paper records present a particular challenge for GP practices as they take up considerable room, deteriorate over time and are rarely accessed as practices will often have an uploaded summary record online.

The valuable office space within practices could be better used to provide services rather than store thousands and thousands of notes stretching back years.

Another driver for the digitalisation of records is to enable innovation and collaboration across primary care networks and generate savings from the primary care estate. Such valuable space can be used for multi-disciplinary team meetings, video and telephone consultations and other meetings.

All practices were visited and audited to see how much room could be saved – 130,730 sq. metres of space storing over 2 million Lloyd George paper records across the region – equates to 18 football pitches.

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