Case Studies

Case Studies

Offsite storage to release space for clinical care and improve patient records inventory for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

The customer

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHNFT) is an NHS foundation trust providing services in Hampshire and parts of West Berkshire.

It was established in January 2012 as the result of the integration of Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust and Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust.

Restore Records Management prior to this project stored around 59,000 boxes across the trust and has been working with HHNFT since 2018. 

Providing outstanding patient care is a priority for the trust. They had identified two hospital sites that were currently being used as medical libraries and space for the associated staff who manage the patient records that could be released for clinical space, for trauma. These sites were at Winchester (Royal Hampshire), Basingstoke and North Hampshire.

Both libraries were currently utilised for the storage and management of live and inactive patient files, with teams of Medical Records staff based at both locations, retrieving, refiling, and preparing records for clinics. The trust shared that staff would move from the Winchester site to a new office location close to the hospital. They wanted to relocate the patient files with an offsite storage provider who can provide secure storage and high-volume retrieval service for live patient records to this new location and across their sites.

The Winchester site had 270,000 active patient records to store offsite. And required a solution for the picking and retrieval of 1,500 files and refiles per day. The challenge was not only to relocate the records but also to ensure the files were always available. Same day delivery and within 4 hours was key.
In Basingstoke, they had 70,000 active patient records they wanted to be scanned but were waiting on budget. As an interim to quickly release the much-needed space for patient care, they required off-site storage as a cost-effective solution.

HHNFT were also heavily reliant on paper records so needed to have confidence that they were going to be handled in the right way. They required access to the patient records 24 hours a day and with emergency access. A big risk to them was not having the records and having to cancel an appointment.

The location was important, wherever HHNF stored their records had to be within 30 miles of the hospital. As well as relocating active patient records, they were also moving staff to an offsite location that was also close to the hospital for HR reasons and public transport. Being environmentally friendly was also a key consideration as well as reducing the risk of transporting patient records.

Restore Records Management provided a dedicated team of 9 on site for 6 months to meet the tight timescales and reduce the risk of not being able to access active patient files. It was important right from the start to quickly form a close relationship with trust, right through to management and bank staff to truly understand the challenges and concerns they had. Ensuring the success of the project and to provide a solution that was right for them.

Full accessibility and trackability were required during the process. This meant we needed to track every file before they were boxed up and sent to us. Originally Hampshire Hospital wanted their staff to do this, but due to time and budget, it was more cost effective for us to support them.

The trust gave us access to their system, they tracked out each file on the Trust’s PAS system first. We then packed the tracked files into boxes, applied a Restore Records Management box barcode to each box, and a file barcode to each file. Every file was then scanned to the box on the HHFT site, using the Restore file barcode and the trust barcode, which contains the hospital number and volume. Each file was barcoded and put onto our system. This was done all on their site to give further assurance to the customer and was a requirement from them.

Once the patient records were tracked and boxed up, one vehicle would go between our site and their hospitals to pick up the records ready to store offsite. Once received at our Southampton site they were scanned in and added to their online inventory, available to order through the Restore Web Portal.

From day one the retrieval service needed to start. Through careful planning and preparation, this was possible. Our solution meant that all files retrieved and returned to Restore Records Management will be tracked on the Trust’s Patient Administration System, as well as our own system. Giving the trust complete visibility and assurance regarding the location of each file via their existing systems.

A bespoke and dedicated transport solution was also provided. Halfway through clearing the site, Hampshire Hospital moved trust library staff to a new offsite location, they still needed somewhere for the records to be handled and prepped. We delivered the records to this location for them to be prepped, and on the same day, we picked up prepped files and delivered them to the hospital. They would also collect any returns from the hospital for delivery back to Restore. Due to the volumes, we provided a dedicated driver and vehicle as 60 to 70 boxes were being dropped and collected every day.

Within 6 months, Hampshire Hospital had 2092.7m2 of space they could now release for clinical space, specifically for trauma. 26,000 new boxes are now stored off-site, saving Hampshire Hospital considerable sums of money that they can invest in patient care.

We provide a storage and retrieval management service to the trust, securely storing over 85,000 boxes at our facility in Southampton and delivering on average 1000 records per day to the trust’s multiple sites.

  • Time scales – completed both projects within 6 months 340,000 active patient files stored
  • We cleared 2092.7m2  space for patient care
  • Helped redeploy staff as no longer releasing 1,500 files a day
  • Collecting on average 300 boxes, up to 5k files a day

“We had challenges and expected to have them. Initially, the uplift volumes were slower than expected and we were concerned about hitting the deadlines. However, this quickly changed, and we hit the timeframes we set out. The core group of Restore Records Management staff have been excellent. We’ve totally changed the way we process patient records.”

Jacqui Leahy, Operational Service Manager

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