Category Archives: Case Studies

Ainsdale Medical Practice Sign-Up for noteSpace

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.

Case Study: The Oaks Medical Practice Realise the Benefits of noteSpace:

The Oaks Medical Centre in Great Barr consists of three surgeries, Kings Road, Old Oscott Lane and Streetly.  Across the three sites approximately 10,500 records were held.

Kings Road and Old Oscott Lane surgeries are soon to be moving to a new building to escape the crumbling and cramped conditions that staff and patients currently endure.

The Oaks Medical Centre Adopt noteSpace

Management of records across the site has been extremely problematic for staff as Lloyd George records were held separately to associated letter files and also records were stored at various locations across the three sites.

The Oaks Medical Practice Filing Storage

It often took a ridiculously long time to locate the records once at the correct site as various methods were in use for storage including a secure shed that is located across a garden, cupboards and shelves in various offices and a bursting cabinet room.  Staff spend much of their working time driving between practices daily to locate the different parts of a patient’s medical record before returning to the admin base at Kings Road.

Once in the new building, space will be used to offer additional facilities and services.  The admin staff will use the noteSpace software to electronically manage the flow of records into and out of the building and were comforted by the Scan on Demand service where records can be delivered electronically back to the practice within four hours if necessary.

There have been challenges to face in ‘clearing down’ these surgeries of their medical records, both in terms of logistics and cataloguing associated records together.  The difficulties however have not impacted the surgeries in any way and a week after initial meetings, the records were removed and the surgeries are enjoying the benefits of noteSpace before they have had to leave for the new premises.

Box-It Storage

In order to show the journey of the records from The Oaks Medical Centre, Niche Health followed the journey of the records once they had been ‘cleared down’ by Niche’s representatives’ from Box-it, our secure storage partners.

The regional office of Box-it where the records were delivered was the Central Box-it facility.  Records were taken by GPRS-tracked vans (with starter motor inhibited if doors are not locked shut).

The site has a range of security measures including perimeter fencing and gated access with swipe card/intercom access, motion-activated colour CCTV covering all external walls. Box-it also has ISO27001:2005 Information Security Accreditation and Moody’s Accreditation auditing.

Once at the site, Lloyd George records were reunited with associated letter files and then catalogued individually and given a unique barcode to ensure anonymity.  This barcode is scanned and referenced to the records NHS number and entered in the Box-it software.  Records without correct NHS numbers are returned to the practice.  The box itself has a related barcode and this is used in conjunction with a location barcode in the warehouse.

Box-It Cataloguing for noteSpace

Once a week Box-it will make a delivery to The Oaks of any requested records through noteSpace and will remove any records that are ready to return to storage.

Julie Caine and Debbie Collier who handle the administrative processing of records said, ‘It cannot be underestimated how much the service will positively impact our daily working.  To have the records securely off-site is such a relief!’

Debbie and Julie at The Oaks Medical Practice

noteSpace Case Study: Skyways Medical Centre

The latest customer to realise the benefits of noteSpace is the Skyways Medical Centre in Heston. Ramanjot Dhaliwal contacted us to discuss removal of the practices 4500 records.

Until recently, doctors at Skyways had preferred to access paper based records when consulting with patients instead of accessing records via the computer system. As a result there was always a need for all medical records to remain on-site.

Cluttered Shelves at Skyways General Practice

Recent changes however have seen Doctors embracing IT within the practice, the possibilities of records removal have become apparent and practice staff would like to use Niche’s noteSpace software to manage the flow of records for collection or delivery to Skyways. The practice recognises that security is enhanced using this method as records are stored in the NHS approved storage facility which is regional to the premises and is in line with CQC requirements.

Currently Nursing Home patient records are stored in a separate room due to the large size of the documents and other medical records are stored in cabinets in the reception area.

Cluttered Storage Space at Skyways General Practice

NoteSpace will be adopted primarily to create space. A new consulting room will be provided allowing the practice to expand the services it is able to offer.