Eight NHS hospital trusts in Greater Manchester have penned a deal with Sectra which will change the way healthcare professionals access and review images from patient scans.

The region-wide Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) will be implemented in the cloud by Sectra alongside a vendor neutral archive (VNA).

Once live across the trusts specialist NHS radiologists and diagnostic professionals will be able to access and report on patient images captured at any hospital in the region.

Clinicians will also be able to access images at the click of the button through their own organisation’s electronic patient record systems, and through a regional integrated digital care record.

Raj Jain, executive senior responsible owner for the programme that is managed by the Greater Manchester Provider Federation Board, and who is also chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), said: “This programme for a collaborative approach to imaging in Greater Manchester has required a high degree of cooperation and trust. It will lead to significantly improved outcomes for our patients and significantly improved work life balance and satisfaction for our staff, as well as productivity and financial benefits that will help us sustain great care going forward.

“Our vision wasn’t for a PACS system – this is a means to an end. The real vision is about how we want to take forward patient care. Our new approach will enable clinical communities and multi-disciplinary teams to come together around the patient in a way we presently can’t do.

“The PACS platform is an essential component to taking forward a new model of care in Greater Manchester, allowing digital images to form part of the core patient record and to create a holistic persona for the patient that our clinicians can use much more effectively than we have ever done before.”

The contract was signed in October 2020 and the system will be deployed across the eight NHS trusts at different stages, with the first going live in 2020.

The NHS trusts involved are:

  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group – which brings together hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale across Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Jane Rendall, managing director UK and Ireland at Sectra, added: “Working with the NHS in Greater Manchester is one of the most exciting things we have ever done – not just because of the size and complexity of the initiative – but because of the ambition.

“This is about changing pathways and the diagnostic process so that outcomes are likely to be more successful for patients. This is not just an opportunity to deliver a clinical system but to make a difference by working in partnership with Greater Manchester as a social and health body that is improving prevention, treatment and diagnostics for patients.”

Greater Manchester joins Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Isle of Wight NHS Trust; Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust; Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust which have also signed a deal with Sectra.