Paul Ashby is the Practice Manager at Ainsdale Medical Centre in Southport. Paul contacted us after receiving some timely information from Niche Health about our noteSpace service.

The practice has a list size of 12,500 patients, has eight partners and a full complement of staff including Practice Nurses, Health Care Assistants and a busy Reception team. Ainsdale Medical Practice are committed to improving patient access and are currently making extensive improvements to its premises in order to remove barriers to accessibility.

Access to some consulting rooms is via a steep set of stairs, creating difficulties for some patients and causing administrative problems in re-arranging doctors and rooms to accommodate accessibility needs.

In addition to these issues, the practice had run out of storage for its medical records. The existing secure storage system became so full that normal filing and retrieval tasks had begun to take many times longer than they should have done.

The average new patient file is about three times thicker than the typical existing patient on account of the amount of A4 paper printed off the clinical system by the previous practice and folded into the Lloyd George envelope.

In October 2014 the practice purchased an additional secure filing cabinet for the notes of new patients but that filled up so quickly the partners realised that they needed to take significant action.

Building an extension to house the Lloyd George Records was as an option, but then Paul came across our noteSpace solution. After requesting further information from Niche Health we were able to quickly provide two local reference sites for Paul to speak with.

Paul, along with three of his colleagues, visited one of the Practices to talk about noteSpace from which they returned positive and assured about the service. Paul was then confident he was making the right decision in choosing to store Ainsdale’s medical records with us, using the noteSpace software to manage the flow of records into and out of the Practice.

It was a big decision for the Partners to have the notes taken away, but the success and reputation of our noteSpace service has taken a huge weight off their minds. Security issues surrounding the on-site storage of patient’s records have long worried Practices and while records at Ainsdale have always been held in lockable cabinets, it is difficult to ensure their security in the vast majority of GP Surgeries. Paul and the partners can be assured that their records are kept in a secure storage facility equipped to the highest standards and fully complying with ISO and IG accreditation standards and that their records can be quickly and easily called back to the practice when needed.

Paul carried out due diligence on the Information Governance arrangements and was satisfied that the service safeguarded the confidentiality and physical security of the information at least as effectively as they did by keeping the records on site.

The scan on demand service was described by the team as ‘fabulous’ and has reduced costly photocopying of notes. Collection of records was prompt and training clear and concise. Staff have taken to using the software easily. It was Niche Health’s ability to mobilise quickly and work with the team at Ainsdale to minimise disruption to the practice that has been particularly noteworthy for Paul.

As a result of completing the noteSpace change so quickly the Practice has been able begin a practice improvement project that will provide benefits for its patients for years to come. The space where the medical records were stored is being converted into a new office for the medical secretaries and their current room upstairs is to be converted into a clinical room for a Nurse Practitioner. Access for patients will be greatly improved by means of a new lift, ensuring that all patients can access every clinical room in the building with ease.