Surrey PCT and Ashford and St Peters Hospital Foundation Trust

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A joint project between Surrey PCT and Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Hospital Foundation Trust has used an Electronic Document Transfer (EDT) Hub to deliver electronic documents to 69 GP practices in Surrey and 31 neighbouring practices.

85,000 documents have been transmitted in the first six months of the roll-out, with 190,000 planned for the next 12 months generating potential efficiency savings of £124,000 for the Trust.

Removing costs

The EDT Hub is currently active for sending all inpatient discharge summaries, A&E daily reports and all clinical correspondence. To date, the Trust has sent 85,000 documents electronically, realising a saving of approximately £20,000 in the first six months in administration costs and a potential saving of £84,000 in the next twelve months. The Trust estimates sending 190,000 electronic documents in the next twelve months in response to a GP requirement for timely delivery of patient documentation.

Key project drivers

The Trust implemented the EDT Hub initially to address three key areas:

1) To expedite secure delivery of patient-related documentation to their GP practices in the shortest possible time electronically, thus ensuring GPs receive timely information about their patients and increasing patient safety.

2) The amount of incoming paper documents to GP practices has reached a stage where the administrative overhead is considerable and requires immediate ongoing remedial action .

3) The continuous development of good relations between the Trust and the surrounding GP surgeries is an area the Trust is keen to focus on.

Improving efficiencies

Jane White, Process Development Manager, Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust: “One of the main innovations of the EDT Hub is its simplicity and compatibility. One key driver was that the solution used the fewest key strokes and was user-friendly saving a lot of time for our Medical Secretarial Teams and Administrators.”

“An audit within the Trust found it could take weeks rather than days for GPs to receive a document.”

Achieving QIPP targets

Laura Ellis-Philip, Head of IT, Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust: “The EDT project has made a significant impact for the Trust to achieve the efficiency targets as set out in the Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention guide.”

“By sending documents electronically we can remove costs and save staff time, which has been a real driver in creating many efficiencies and smoothing out many processes.”

Delivering for GPs

Laura continues “Documents are available to GP practices as soon as they are filed electronically within the Trust, ensuring that our GPs have the most up-to-date information regarding their patients. This in turn feeds directly into having the appropriate Care Plan for each patient.”

“When documents are delivered into the practice an electronic workflow identifies the key information within the document and attaches it to the appropriate patient record. This in turn enables the patient’s document to be available anywhere in the practice.”

“The project has been a real success with excellent feedback from our GP practices – the practices are asking for more documents to be sent electronically. This project has resulted in improved relationships with the GP practices in the area and has been a very successful innovation.”

Improving patient care

Jane White: “The use of the EDT Hub means that we are able to transmit documents to our GP practices through a secure electronic route, guaranteeing patient confidentiality and providing a complete audit trail of that document from despatch to delivery to the practices. The Docman software enables the GP practices to pull the documents into their patients’ notes at a time convenient to them.”


Laura Ellis-Philip: “We recently ran a joint training event with PCTI, inviting the Practice Managers of Surrey to attend an EDT Workshop. This proved to be a great success and further such events are planned over the coming months.”

The next step

Jane White highlights: “The demand from GP Practices in Surrey to receive further patient clinical documentation electronically via the EDT route is being explored and we are hopeful that electronic pathways to GPs in our neighbouring boroughs will soon become available through the EDT Hub.”