Hospital outsourcing letters to the Philippines
PUBLISHED: 09:11 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 December 2019
A hospital is outsourcing clerical work to the other side of the world in a bid to save money.
Clinical letters dictated by physicians are being sent 6,700 miles from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn to the Philippines to be transcribed.
The hospital confirmed it was taking part in a free trial, which involved 400 letters over a six-week period. It would not reveal which departments were involved. in the project.
Liz Sanford, acting director of finance and resources at the QEH, said: "A small-scale pilot is underway to try more cost effective ways of typing clinical letters. This includes an overseas solution in the Philippines, similar to models used by other NHS Trusts.
"We will evaluate any quality or financial benefits at the end of the pilot. No jobs will be affected."
Another trust in the north of England which used a Philippines transcription service to produce letters said they cost £4 each and it found on average one "notable error" per two letters.
Sound files of dictated letters are e-mailed to be transcribed into letters, which are e-mailed back to be sent out to patients.