Hillingdon Hospital sends more than 300,000 letters electronically


Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust delivers early on commitment to send discharge letters electronically through use of Docman Hub

Since going live in 2014, Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has sent more than 300,000 letters electronically through Docman Hub; an electronic postal service for the secure delivery of letters between healthcare providers.

The Docman Hub project was part of the CQUIN target to remove the use of post and NHS mail to send documents. The trust now sends a variety of documents electronically, from 41 specialities, which include discharge summaries, A&E attendance letters, specialist services letters, and maternity letters.

Minal Patel, senior project manager at the trust, said: “Our initial business case was based around the cost savings associated with removing the need to send paper. The manual process was inefficient and not in line with QIPP principles to drive forward quality improvements. Reliance on external post created additional pressure on turnaround times and information was not received by GPs in a timely manner. This could have a significant impact on patient care provided in the community which is reliant on this information. Docman has significantly improved information sharing between the trust and primary care.”

The trust has reported a number of benefits through the use of Docman Hub.

“Information is now sent securely to GP practices in real time with a full audit trail, which provides patients with a positive experience as information is no longer lost or misplaced,” said Patel.

“In addition, Docman Hub has allowed us to ensure clinical correspondence reaches GPs within five days so the trust avoids any fines.”

Savina Vagarwal, project manager for electronic correspondence at Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “The end result has been a significant improvement in the efficiency of GP practices in their use of Docman with EMIS Web, and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has delivered early on its commitment to send discharge letters electronically by 1 October 2015.”

A key success factor within the project is the relationship between The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the CCG, and GP practices within the area.

Matthew Kybert, systems development and integration manager at the trust, said: “This project has further strengthened our relationship and has provided a joined-up approach to managing patient care in our area.”

Kamran Bhatti, senior commissioning manager at Hillingdon CCG, added: “As commissioners we are very pleased that The Hillingdon Hospital has been able to use Docman Hub to automate transmission of clinical correspondence to our GPs. Thanks to a joint project team from the trust, CCG and Docman, the implementation went very smoothly.”

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The next part of our project is to continue to send even more letters electronically to GPs through Docman Hub and to reach practices out of the area.