Welsh patient administration system linked up across North Wales

A programme of work to link up separate versions of the Welsh Patient Administration System (WelshPAS) in North Wales has been completed, bringing all areas of the Betsi Cadwaladr University (BCU) Health Board together under one single system.

The WelshPAS is “the largest IT system in NHS Wales and manages more than 2.6 billion transactions a year”, and is used for everyday functions including recording and sharing patient information such as appointments and treatments.

Prior to the merge, information would have to be transferred across if a patient was seen in BCU East but needed treatment in Central or West. Now, this information will be accessible across the whole health board, “saving on time, increasing patient safety and improving the patient experience”.

Carl Davies, national application manager for WelshPAS, explained: “It manages the referrals, admissions, and outpatient attendances as well as a myriad of other functions such as interfacing to third-party clinical systems. Without the efforts of everyone from support teams, technicians, developers, infrastructure specialists, project managers, and business analysts to doctors, nurses, ward clerks, and trainers, this project would not have taken place, let alone been such a success.”

Dylan Roberts, chief digital information officer at BCU, commented: “This has been a huge endeavour, involving multidisciplinary teams from different professions, across BCU and DHCW working as one. The whole project has been a fantastic example of collaborative working, great joint planning and a focus on a shared purpose. The go live weekend involved over 110 people and is one of the smoothest I have experienced in my 23 years as a CIO. A great achievement. Thank you to all the BCU and DHCW staff involved, it is already starting to make a positive difference to patients and staff.”

In February, we wrote about Velindre NHS Trust’s go-live with the WelshPAS, helping to contribute to an all-Wales view of a patient’s journey and facilitating more collaborative ways of working.

We also covered the launch of the Welsh government’s digital and data strategy for health and social care in Wales, which had the core aims of building digital platforms that “meet the needs of Wales”, and focusing on “making services digital-first”.

Last month, we looked at the new digital platform from Public Health Wales which provides data and tools for tackling health inequalities, providing a gateway to data, evidence and sharing of good practice.