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Prison healthcare system rollout complete

Project completion comes at times of severe difficulty for wider NHS records programme

An electronic health record system has been rolled out to all prisons in England.

The news comes at a time that NHS hospitals are experiencing severe delays rolling out their own patient systems. CSC, which has been threatened with the possible cancellation of its contract on the non-prison work, was commissioned to roll-out a record system across 136 jails.

The prison healthcare software is based on SystmOne clinical software developed by TPP, and allows offender healthcare records to be kept up to date.

Sue Hughes, prison health IT programme manager at NHS Connecting for Health, said: "Healthcare staff tell us that the national clinical IT system is making a real difference to their efforts to provide better and safer care for prisoners, who have some of the most serious and complex healthcare needs in society."

With more than 400,000 movements of offenders between prisons each year, healthcare teams will no longer need to rely on time consuming paper based processes or expect legacy computer systems, which may not be compatible across the prison estate, to communicate with one another.

The system stores electronic records centrally so that healthcare professionals can instantly follow an offender through the prison system, reducing the risk of poor clinical decisions and saving substantial amounts of clerical time.

The system was first tested by early adopters in 2006, and a national roll out began in 2009, before being completed this spring.

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