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July 2015 
GP2GP patient record pilot switches on 
New digital service between GP practices speeds up transfer times

The first digital GP to GP medical record transfer in Wales has been successfully completed between two GP surgeries in Cardiff. It is part of a pilot taking place during the next six months and being run in collaboration between NHS Wales Informatics Service and GP computer systems provider INPS.


Digital transfer (known as GP2GP) enables a patient's medical record to be transferred directly and securely between practices and improves patient care as the new GP will have the patient's full medical record available for the first consultation.


GP medical record transfers take place when a patient moves from one practice to another, usually because they have moved house.  


The current process involves the patient's previous practice printing out the patient's record and sending a paper copy to the new practice. The new practice then has to summarise and key in the information onto its own system. It can take weeks for the whole process to complete.


The digital transfer of a patient's notes as part of the GP2GP pilot between a practice in the Gabalfa area in Cardiff to another in the Cathays area took around thirty minutes to complete.


For the moment, practices must still complete the paper process (for legal purposes) until the service is established throughout Wales, but staff will no longer have to re-key paper records into computer systems.


Cardiff was chosen as a suitable pilot area as it has a high concentration of practices in small areas and a high volume of patient transfers between neighbouring areas. Following the success of the pilot, the service plans to expand to more practices, based on the transfer rates between practices.

Connecting A with B and B with C

New messaging and conference application links NHS Wales staff with one another and beyond


A new service called Microsoft Lync is being made available to Welsh health boards. It enables video conferencing and instant messaging between NHS Wales colleagues, and their patients, carers and support workers.


Staff in NHS Wales make thousands of audio and video conference calls every month. However, the Welsh Health Video Service (WHVS) is currently limited to providing internal conference calls within NHS Wales.


One of the benefits Lync brings is its ability to host on-line conferences with users outside of NHS Wales. Lync will be able to include other organisations, such as community services, care homes, charities, etc. Many clinicians will be able to include patients in those calls as well, provided their patients have a broadband connection where they live.  The service can be used with laptops, smart phones and tablets and can support multi disciplinary teams working in the community.


Initially, the Lync infrastructure will be deployed alongside the current Welsh Health Video Service, with links in place to allow users on either system to join the same video conferences. In the longer term it is expected that the Lync system will replace the WHVS, resulting in cost savings. Savings will also be made through the reduction of travel costs.


A resilient central infrastructure will support 12,000 Lync users across NHS Wales organisations. This can be scaled to support additional users through the addition of extra Lync Servers.


In order to cover the operational costs of hosting and running Lync, the Service Licence Agreement with the health boards and trusts is being updated. Once this is done, the service will be available to staff in those organisations. 


The service is being offered by the NHS Wales Informatics Service. The infrastructure for the application has been funded by the Welsh Government's Health Technologies and Telecare Fund.

Referring to and fro

Powys GP practices pilot cross border e-referral service with Royal Shrewsbury

Patients in two Powys practices who rely on the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for secondary care are starting to benefit from a cross border e-referral pilot.

Llanfyllin and Knighton medical practices are now taking part in the cross border project that allows referrals to be sent electronically and more immediately from the practice to the hospital, speeding up treatment and improving patient safety.

Following the successful pilot, it is planned to have the capability extended to remaining GP practices in Powys.

The Right Medicine
Review allows pharmacists to compare patient medication changes

Over forty community pharmacies in Wales are now able to offer their patients the electronic Discharge Medicines Review (DMR) service using the NHS Wales Informatics Service's Choose Pharmacy application.


Pharmacists use the DMR to compare any changes that were made to a patient's medication while they were last in hospital with the medication subsequently prescribed by their GP.  The pharmacist can then contact the GP to follow up any differences.


Pharmacies will be notified automatically when their patients are discharged from a hospital ward where the Welsh Clinical Portal is being used to transcribe medicines. 


For those patients, the medicines information in the patient's electronic Discharge Advice Letter can be viewed by the pharmacist and imported directly into the DMR form.


The DMR is currently being piloted in 43 community pharmacies.

Informatics in numbers
458 and 130,000+

My Health Online, the service for online appointments and repeat prescriptions is now available for all 458 GP practices in Wales.

More than 130,000 patients have now registered for My Health Online and the numbers are growing every day. 


DigitalHealth.net (previously EHealth Insider) has recently published an article about the completed rollout on their website.

Investing where it counts
People management
NHS Wales Informatics Service has been awarded the core Investors in People Standard, demonstrating a true commitment to realising the potential of staff.
Investors in People is the accredited UK standard to lead improvement through people management. 
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