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Leeds Teaching Hospitals gets new imaging tech

The hospital trust is the first of six in a Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC) to deploy technology to underpin the programme

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has deployed imaging technology as part of plans for a regional pathology programme.

The trust is part of a Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative (NPIC) which includes six local NHS trusts that will all deploy new technology through the programme.

Leeds has gone live with a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) from supplier Sectra, which allows clinicians to look at pathology images from several different devices, and is the first of the six to deploy the technology.

Darren Treanor, NPIC director and pathologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said the trust is the first to go fully digital.

“Collectively, we are modernising our pathology services to become amongst the most advanced and interconnected anywhere in the world, and we hope to share our experience to help others across the NHS and beyond,” he said.    

“The days of using glass slides and paper notes to determine and communicate a patient’s diagnosis are numbered. As we move to digital ways of working we can improve quality and create a more structured digital workflow.” 

The regional pathology programme is a £17m partnership between the NHS, industry and academia, and will connect pathology services across the region. It also includes full digitisation of NHS laboratories, and will allow trusts to pool resources and make it easier for specialists across the region to look at images and help make clinical diagnosis.

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The other trusts part of the programme, which will also deploy the technology include Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

The programme also includes a vendor neutral archive (VNA), also from Sectra, which will allow trusts to build a platform for artificial intellilgence (AI) to be used to improve diagnosis.

In October 2020, eight NHS trusts in Greater Manchester also embarked on a diagnostic imaging project. It signed a contract with Sectra for its PACS and VNA, and the hope is to be able to bring together imaging for more than just radiology, covering nuclear medicine, orthopaedics and medical photography, as well as including images from endoscopy, cardiology and pathology.

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