Reading, UK, 22nd April 2021: Insource Ltd, the UK’s leading data automation provider to the NHS, announces a 5-year contract with NHS Highland for Patient Pathway Plus (PP+) Cancer Tracking module. The solution aims to revolutionize ways of working within and across teams in cancer services throughout NHS Highland, which covers the largest healthcare geography in the UK. PP+ Cancer will provide full data-led cancer pathway management including patient event tracking, breach analysis, local operational reporting for service improvement and full Scottish statutory waiting times reporting.

Working in partnership, NHS Highland and Insource, will jointly focus the PP+ Cancer Tracking solution to match NHS Scotland cancer waiting time standards and deliver a digital capability for detailed operational management that enables evidenced service improvement. Innovative visualisation of cancer pathways and powerful data consolidation of patient status, cancer categorisations, treatments, timescales, locations, resources, and missed events into a single source of the truth will enable pro-active interventions and will pinpoint the issues that require immediate attention. Highlighting bottlenecks, for example, in the use of resources, or delays between events in pathways, will be critical for performance planning and clarification of improvement initiatives.

Collaboration turns retrospective reporting into pro-active service-led platform

The collaboration, and resulting solution, aims to turn what has historically been a retrospective, centralised reporting process into a pro-active service-led platform that helps up to 450 operational and clinical staff across the geography to work more efficiently, reducing duplication of effort, and ensuring accurate and complete information is available to progress patient care and deliver improved outcomes.

Cancer has a high priority, and this will be a closely watched projected nationally across Scotland given the increasing incidence of the condition. The NHS Highland cancer services team want to minimise the stress and anxiety for patients. This joint strategic solution will bring real-time care and process data to frontline staff and ultimately to consultants. It will give a visible portrayal for the management of all patients through their cancer journey and their statutory milestones. It will cover all cancer types and moves the central services team from simply doing waiting times reporting to offering a full operational tool to remote cancer teams across Highland and Argyll and Bute. The solution will also help save hundreds of hours in manual statutory and ad hoc reporting.

PP+ Putting the patient at the heart of the cancer care process

The PP+ Cancer Tracking solution puts the patient at the heart of cancer care process. It automates all actions to do with the patient – referrals, triage, Health Board acceptance, clinic invites, treatments and timescales. The system gives visibility of all tasks undertaken on all patients in real-time and allows for checks and balances to be put in place to show where issues are arising. This enables timely interventions for clinical priorities. It shows
where there are capacity constraints to do with people, places, consultants etc. and it enables the Health Board to analyse where best to focus investment to improve outcomes.

With Covid, NHS Scotland is very data hungry and is requesting numerous ad hoc reports on care breaches etc. With the previous, largely manual system these ad hoc reports were taking hundreds of hours to compile. The PP+ Cancer Tracking solution will, via the data warehouse, automatically access data in the core systems such as the TrakCare EPR for referrals and the pathology and radiology systems for diagnostic and treatment data and will ultimately create multiple views that track patients through their care. The aim is to create a Patient View that will show all the details of a single patient and their treatments. A Pathway View which will show all the patients within e.g. Urology and the activity Timeline View will show all blockages so the department can address any issues immediately. Breach analyses at task level will then be done instantaneously. And reporting to the National Cancer Managers Forum and Northern Cancer Alliance as well as NHS Scotland will be streamlined.

Major shift in cancer delivery to clinically driven services team

Lee Bellis, Insource Sales Director, commented, “This PP+ Cancer implementation will have a major impact not only for NHS Highland but also for NHS Scotland and we know it is gaining interest nationally within NHS England. It is a major shift for cancer services from a retrospective reporting mechanism to a clinically-driven services team and is a chance for NHS Scotland to lead the UK in cancer service delivery.”

PP+ an elective care management solution

Patient Pathway Plus (PP+), a key elective care management solution, can help reduce elective backlogs and avoid critical care breaches. PP+ gives Trusts a consolidated, accurate view of their waiting list backlog across all elective care, not just RTT, and across all specialities, showing the full scale of demand. Despite the Covid-backlogs PP+ can help Trusts plan their waiting list recovery and solve elective problems today. PP+ Cancer will focus this expertise within the cancer domain for maximum care tracking and pathway management.

Through automated data pipelines and a complex set of rules-based, data validation processes PP+ shows the precise status of patients waiting for treatment at any point in time. By incorporating clinical priorities, it allows the Board to plan and redeploy services against greatest need. Being a centralised digital hub, it is perfectly suited for workforces distributed across organisations and multiple locations, including those working remotely as a result of Covid restrictions. PP+ is fully expandable for capacity planning, demand management, cancer pathways, mental health, statutory returns, analytics modules and more.

About NHS Highland

NHS Highland delivers care to 320,000 people over 32,500 square kilometres, making it one of the largest and most sparsely populated Health Boards in the UK. NHS Highland is composed of two Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs). The Highland Health and Social Care partnership covers the local government area of Highland. The North and West operational unit covers Caithness, Sutherland, Lochaber and Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross. The Inner Moray Firth operating unit covers Raigmore Hospital, Badenoch and Strathspey, Mid Ross, Inverness and Nairn. The Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership covers the local government area of Argyll and Bute.

NHS Highland is the biggest employer in the region and, as an organisation, makes a very significant contribution to the local economy. The Scottish Highlands are known world-wide as containing some of the nation’s most outstanding natural environment. This also presents some challenges in delivering services. For instance, a difficult terrain, rugged coastlines, many remote and rural area, inhabited islands, limited transport and communications infrastructure.

For more info: