Blackpool Victoria Hospital bosses pledge after video emerges showing racks of patient records

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Hospital bosses today promised patient records are not at risk of being lost after a video emerged of thousands of files stored in a former operating theatre.

The footage, posted on social media and shared with The Gazette, shows racks of files stacked up in the former ‘anaesthetic room operating theatre 9’ at the Vic.

Image from the video

Image from the video

While most of it appears in order, the footage shows some files lined up on the floor, next to theatre taps and in boxes behind doors – sparking potential health and safety and fire safety issues.

Vic bosses today said they are in the process of digitising the thousands of patient notes stored at the hospital to help reduce the need to keep physical records.

Tim Bennett, deputy chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, (inset) said: “The Trust stores in excess of 450,000 sets of patient notes and deals with more than 400,000 appointments every year. This means that many thousands of patient notes are moved every week with staff retrieving and re-filing them as needed to support patient care. We can assure our residents that notes are held in a safe and secure environment and in an order which allows them to be easily found and distributed where and when needed around the Trust sites.

“We monitor the provision of patient notes on an ongoing basis and we consistently retrieve more than 99 per cent of them in advance of patient attendance.

“Risk assessments for fire and health and safety issues are regularly undertaken.

“In the longer term the Trust is looking to undertake a large scale programme to digitalise notes which will help the service further.”

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set the challenge for the NHS to go “paperless” by 2018, to save billions, improve services and help meet the challenges of an ageing population”