WCGG is a bit of a mouthfulI but essentially its a secure postal service that carries electronic messages – referrals, discharges, letters etc. between care services. in addition It allows any type of common file type in to be attached to a message so it is very flexible.
We have now rolled it out to 94% of Welsh practices and all LHBs. To date it has carried over 400.000 referrals. It has proved very popular with GPs and Consultants as it uses the GP system to automatically load most of the relevant information into the referral message leaving the referrer to focus on adding the precise reason for referral. Pilots are underway to use it to send discharge communications from hospital back to primary care. it has also been integrated into the patient administration system at one hospital . There are 750,000 new referrals , about the same number of inpatient discharges and 3,000,000 out patient letters produced per year in Wales that could be carried by the WCCG.
The system is currently being used for communication between hospital and GPs. It should not be thought of in these restrictive terms as this is just the tip oft the iceberg of its potential use.
It is very flexible and provides guaranteed delivery of a communication, between any organisational or statutory body, that is secure, encrypted audit-able and trackable in real time. These features make it superior to email for statutory transfer of responsibility. This mean that it can be used for any to any referral , tertiary referrals supporting clinical networks, any transfer of care, request for service etc. This includes the referrals between health and social care, cross border, and primary care contractor services.
The design of the care IT systems requires this function at its core, We chose this solution because of its simplicity, security and its successful track record in Scotland. The Scots provided us with a enterprise wide licence so we can use it in as many different ways and across as many different care organisation in Wales as we want. We, our colleagues in Northern Ireland and the Scottish services are now all successfully collaborating on its further development and use. Our Scottish colleagues are very interested in how we have adapted the technology in Wales to enable us to put the electronic pathology and radiology ordering services initially deployed in the hospitals onto our GPs desks.
This importance and central position this system occupies in the care service is described in the new Welsh Information System Strategy WISS published this week at http://www.wales.nhs.uk/nwis/news/24272WISS<