Secondary Care

South coast trusts to share millions of diagnostic images

A group of NHS trusts around the south coast of England have signed a deal with technology provider Sectra, to share and access diagnostic imaging.

The trusts will move to Sectra’s vendor neutral archive to share, access and manage millions of images.

Known as SWASH, the consortium includes Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Salisbury NHS FT, Southern Health NHS FT and University Hospital Southampton NHS FT.

The platform will support regional working through a new shared multimedia archive, and will also support ambitions for initiatives including artificial intelligence.

Mark Gardner, PACS manager at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Moving to Sectra’s VNA will be a big win. We will be able to administer, store and make available millions of images, of different types and from different disciplines, from hospitals across our region, all in a single place without the burden of having to manage infrastructure.”

Dr. Mark Griffiths, paediatric radiologist and clinical lead for the SWASH consortium, said: “Linking with other regions is an important next step. Our strategy is to improve our visualisation of the whole patient pathway within SWASH and beyond.”

“Using a standard for cross-community sharing will help us to better connect with other regional consortia. That will be a game changer – to not just see local imaging, but to understand imaging has occurred for patients who move across borders and services, and to be able to access that imaging myself as a clinician, without needing to ask someone else who might not be in the office at the time.”

“This creates a wealth of data for purposes such as AI. Data for training algorithms needs to be appropriate and validated. We won’t simply be throwing data at AI, but by having a modern collective data source as a consortium we can use our size to help with the validation and governance around using AI. And we anticipate that Sectra will provide multiple inputs from smaller AI suppliers, that will make it much easier for NHS trusts within a consortium to utilise them.”

Jane Rendall, Managing Director UK and Ireland at Sectra, said: “SWASH is one of our longest standing partners, and we are proud to continue to provide the tools to advance their imaging strategies that are ultimately focused on delivering better patient outcomes.”