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October 2013
Withybush sets the standard
TrakCare debuts in Hywel Dda - Now in Glangwili and Prince Philip 
Withybush Blood Sciences staff celebrate TrakCare rollout with InterSystems and NWIS teams
As this newsletter goes out, the new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) - TrakCare - is being rolled out in the Blood Sciences laboratories in Glangwili General Hospital and Prince Philip Hospital in Carmarthenshire.


The new system is being implemented in conjunction with the electronic requesting function within the Welsh Clinical Portal. The two systems will work jointly so clinicians will have their requests sent via the Portal and rapidly processed into TrakCare.


The go-live follows the September LIMS rollout at the Blood Sciences laboratory in Haverfordwest's Withybush Hospital.


Laboratory staff, along with teams from InterSystems, Hywel Dda Health Board and NWIS collaborated to make the switchover as smooth as possible.


"I'm really pleased with the way it all went," says Helena Tollick, Senior Biomedical Scientist at Withybush. "Even though both the Haematology and Biochemistry staff had done extensive testing we still came across a few problems. However with the support from Health Board staff, the Configuration team, InterSystems and NWIS, issues were sorted out quite quickly. I must say that all our staff did us proud and went that extra mile to make the week as successful as it was."

New pharmacy scheme is the right prescription

Making it easier for patients to get faster treatment 

A one-off digital solution has been specially developed by NHS Wales software experts to support a unique scheme where patients can walk-in to their local pharmacy to get treatment for nearly thirty common ailments.


The Common Ailments Scheme (CAS) will be available not just during normal opening hours, but also offered on weekends and evenings in participating pharmacies who already open at these times. It is currently available in thirty-two pharmacies in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Gwynedd. .


In order to use the scheme, anyone who is registered with a GP in Wales must first register with a participating pharmacy of their choice. Once registered, no appointment is needed to see the pharmacist for a consultation. After the consultation, patients will receive advice and treatment Details of the consultation will also be kept by the pharmacy if they visit again or visit another participating pharmacy. 


The pharmacist can refer more serious cases back to the GP or other healthcare professional if they cannot treat the patient.  


The scheme will not only make it easier for patients to access treatment without having to make appointments, but it will help free up time for GPs.


"Having the technology to follow the patient if they register with another pharmacy provides an opportunity to see what treatment and advice has already been given elsewhere," says Betsi Cadwaladr's Dwyfor Locality Clinical Lead, Sera Roberts. "It offers further intervention and support for the patient." 

The pharmacies involved initially will take part in a feedback exercise towards the end of this year to see how well the scheme has worked. CAS could eventually be extended to all pharmacies in Wales.


The electronic system that the scheme works on, known as eCAS, also connects up to the Welsh Demographics Service, which allows the pharmacy to call up names, addresses and NHS numbers of patients resident in Wales to ensure their correct details are used.


CAS is part of the bigger Choose Well campaign in Wales, which helps the public decide where to go for medical attention if they get sick.

Latest CHIRP news
Updates from the Cancer Histopathology Reporting Project.


CHIRP has been running successfully in Cwm Taf Health Board since 2011.  


It received full National Architecture Design Board approval in the spring with Colorectal Carcinoma and Bowel Biopsy templates being used in the laboratory at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil. Colorectal local excision and Parathyroid templates were added later.


The Royal Glamorgan Hospital implemented the system in November 2011 and Cardiff and Vale Health Board in February 2013 (using Bowel Biopsy only).


A number of new templates have recently been released and over sixty Cervical Biopsy and Bladder biopsy activities were completed in the first month of operation. The prostate biopsies template has also just been released.


Looking back since the system was introduced, more than two thousand CHIRP reporting activities had been undertaken representing approximately 1480 completed specimens.  

Coordinating IT for improved community care
CCISSuppliers in running for community systems contract 


Seven companies have been selected as potential providers of the Community Care Information Solution (CCIS) to help Health and Social Care staff in Wales work more closely with one another to provide better care.


A joint procurement process by the Welsh Systems Consortium of eight local authorities and NHS Wales has generated an opportunity to identify ICT system that delivers national requirements of both Social Care and Community Health Services. This opportunity will be available to all Local Authorities and Health Boards and has the potential to provide a real solution to support integrated working.


The CCIS will be used to support a number of functions in community settings such as managing caseloads for individuals and groups, recording cases, and arranging provision of services.


It will be rolled out in various community settings, such as:

  • Social Services: Adults Services, Children and Families, Financial Services
  • Health: Community Nursing, Health Visiting, Therapy Services
  • Mental Health: Community Teams, Inpatient Mental Health
  • Multidisciplinary teams: across Local Health Boards and Social Services 

Representatives from the Health Boards, Trusts and Social Services across Wales have invited a number of companies to bid, working extensively to determine a statement of requirements which reflects all sectors. This includes complementing systems like those in general practice.


A shortlist of three suppliers will be announced following the responses to these requirements early next year. The award for a call off-contract is expected in 2014.


Bridgend County Borough Council is leading on the procurement in partnership with the Welsh Systems Consortium and NHS Wales.


The IT solution will support the integrated working policies of social care and health and help deliver the vision contained in 'Sustainable Social Services for Wales - a Framework for Action' and 'Together for Health' strategies.

Informatics in numbers
Super Pilot

A thousand electronic Discharge Advice Letters have been sent to GP practices in Cardiff in a pilot project testing a feature of the Welsh Clinical Portal which creates and delivers electronic discharge letters between hospitals and GPs. 

As well as a list of the patient's medications, the electronic discharge advice letters include diagnosis, medical progress, advice to GP, follow-up action and test results.
The letters have been sent from a respiratory and an acute ward in University Hospital Wales (UHW) via the Welsh Clinical Communications Gateway to more than a hundred Cardiff and Vale GP practices.
Informatics in Words
Massive Benefits
"After only a few hours I felt able to use it with just as much ease as the previous system. I can see massive benefits in using TrakCare particularly once other laboratories are also live."  

Ricky Maskell - Medical Laboratory Assistant, Blood Sciences, Withybush Hospital

Informatics @ Events
Heading to Manchester

NHS Wales' national information and technology developments will be in the spotlight at a major conference in Manchester next year.


Speakers from NHS Wales Informatics Service will be presenting during the National Health IT Conference and Exhibition on 19th and 20th March.


HC2014 offers the most extensive IT healthcare conference in the UK - with over one hundred high profile speakers under one roof.


For more information, visit


Bed Counting
Reporting tool provides
 up-to-minute data on hospital occupancy 

A reporting tool which shows the occupancy rate of hospital beds in Wales at 9am every morning has been produced by NHS Wales Informatics Service, and is used by the Welsh Government for monitoring and planning. 

The Bed Data Reporting tool  makes up part of the Unscheduled Care Dashboard  - an information resource which gives managers and decision makers real-time information about issues relating to Unscheduled care such as A&E Waiting Times and flu rates.


"It helps us to get a real-time overview of capacity and occupancy, and helps towards our aim of providing quality care," says Roger Perks, Head of Operations at the Welsh Government's Department of Health. 

A rewarding webinar
Web seminar brings suppliers and providers together 

Nearly 150 health and local authority staff took part in two webinar sessions recently to learn more about the Community Care Information Solution (see article  "Coordinating IT for improved community care" on right) which will help social care and health staff to work more closely together to provide better care.


The webinar across fifteen local authority and Health Board sites, brought together individuals representing a range of services including nursing, therapies, mental health, social services, information, and information technology and included presentations from suppliers hoping to win the contract. 


"This was the first time many of us had used this approach to look at system capabilities," said Procurement Lead James Ferris from Bridgend County Borough Council.
"We would use this process again for any future projects as it saved a significant amount of time and cost for both the customer and supplier base." 
 The attendees to the sessions have now been asked to provide feedback and questions to the Community System Project Team.
A short list of selected suppliers is due to be announced early next year.
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