New storage for medical notes

Steve Birtles (left) and Josh Detko take the greatest 'care with medical records at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Steve Birtles (left) and Josh Detko take the greatest 'care with medical records at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
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A NEW storage facility for patient medical records is due to open at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary by the end of this month.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has invested £169,000 on 385 linear metres of racked storage, with extra space for 75,000 case notes in 256 customised bays.

The extra capacity will enable the transfer of old records from Furness General Hospital (FGH) and Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) to the new unit, as well as records already on site at Lancaster.

The new secure storage at Lancaster will create greater capacity at FGH and WGH for the most recent patient case notes.

The trust can be holding anywhere up to a million individual sets of notes across its three sites at any one time.

Juliet Walters, chief operating officer at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have about 4,000 new sets of case notes coming in each month, and we handle about 56,000 monthly requests for patient notes.

“This storage is a shorter term measure while we progress our plans for a comprehensive electronic document management system for patient case notes.”

Previously, patient records had been lost and were stacked up in rooms in their thousands.

A portable office had also been used to store records, and some were even in corridors.