Case Studies

GDE Alder Hey deliver patient letters faster with flexible dictation and transcription solution

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust chose Medisec Software and Accuro to help develop a flexible outsourced transcription service to support faster turnaround of patient and GP letters.  The entire project was mapped and delivered in less than one month.


  • Pressure from increasing demands on secretarial teams due to growing correspondence requirements
  • Potential for undue delays to letters because of resource pressures for transcription
  • Expensive agency fees for temporary staff to support busier periods
  • Difficulty resourcing for the fluctuating demand on transcription



  • An end to end, flexible managed speech recognition, dictation and transcription service, from Trust to GPs, building on the current investment in the Medisec Digital Dictation solution



  • Correspondence turnaround times reduced from 29 days to 3.5 days, improving patient experience
  • Support for busy and often understaffed secretarial teams, providing flexible cover for annual leave, maternity and sick leave
  • Significant cost savings; no expensive agency fees for last minute temporary staff
  • Ability to cope with fluctuating demand providing a manageable workload and a robust business contingency option

 The full study

Improving the flow of patient information

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is in the midst of delivering radical improvements in patient care through digital advances.  A key aspect of this is improving the flow of patient information through the Trust and to primary care.

Alder Hey wanted to redesign their correspondence processes by aiming to:

  • Reduce turnaround time of letters, and so improve patient experience
  • Better support their busy staff, often under resource pressures
  • Create costs savings through the reduction of last minute agency staff


Ceri Rothwell, Managing Director at Medisec Software, explains, “Alder Hey is an incredibly busy hospital and it is often difficult to predict when patient attendances will fluctuate.  With more patients comes more documentation and letters that need to be transcribed, typed and delivered to both patients and other care organisations as quickly as possible. 

“Alder Hey approached us as they needed a more flexible way to support busy secretarial staff with additional resource when they need it, without being tied into expensive agency models or employing unnecessarily.”

Alder Hey mapped out the ideal end result for speech recognition, dictation, typing and delivery and approached Medisec Software, who already managed the dictation element, to see what changes could be made.

Ceri continued: “It was crucial for Alder Hey that delivery time of letters from clinician dictation to receipt by the patient and GP was not affected by the soaring volume of patients, ensuring the best possible patient care and communication between care providers.  The service reform also needed to be cost effective and provide financial efficiencies where possible.


The solution

Debi Lees, Operations Manager at Medisec Software said: “We suggested a managed service between Medisec Software and transcription experts Accuro.  We wanted to develop a process that would take the immense pressure away from secretarial teams when necessaryand could easily be scaled down when the activity could be managed in-house. A truly adaptable service, flexing with the Trust’s requirements.”

As part of the new process, dictations that could not be typed by the in-house secretarial teams would be sent to Accuro to ensure the strict time deadlines were met.  However, it was crucial that this process was electronic and seamless, avoiding the sharing of personal data where possible.

Debi continues: “We developed a unique interface that ensures systemised confidential personal data such as patient name and address are not shared as part of the transcription process.  The dictation piece is sent anonymously from MedisecTRUST to the specialist Accuro team.  The transcription is completed and returned, populating the correct letter with appropriate patient and address details which could then be sent electronically to the recipient.”

Accuro’s transcription service also supports a ‘pay as you go’ model, meaning cash-strapped Trusts only need to pay for the services they need when they need it.



The impact has been evident almost overnight.

Since the initial introduction of the new model in April 2018, the average turn-around time of letters has reduced from 29 days to just 3.5 days.  This benefit is felt directly by patients, who are receiving letters in relation to their care faster and are confident in the transfer of information between their hospital and GP.

With a few changes to internal processes at Alder Hey, and through utilising the digital technology available, the Trust has been able to deliver a much more responsive service to patients.  The model works with the Trust in line with demand, helping Alder Hey remain completely cost conscious at all times whilst meeting strict turn-around times.

The Trust is in complete control of its resources and the team is able to effectively plan for extra transcription help needed to cover for annual leave, maternity and sick leave, avoiding any sudden backlog and drop in turnaround time.  The model has already significantly reduced costs incurred by last minute temporary and agency staff.   


The interface developed by Medisec also keeps the entire document workflow process paperless from beginning to end.


Helen Healiss, Managing Director at Accuro said: “We are delighted to be forging this partnership with Medisec Software and to be pioneering the process at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.  Trusts are under more pressure than ever to deliver correspondence to strict time deadlines, and with our combined solution and over 20 years of experience we can ensure this process is efficient, effective and to the highest standard.


Ceri Rothwell, Managing Director at Medisec Software said: “We are really delighted with the project and our ongoing relationship with the clinical and IT teams at the Trust.  Alder Hey has great vision and we are pleased to partner with them on several projects as part of their Global Digital Exemplar journey.”


To find out more about MedisecTRUST and achieving a flexible electronic correspondence model, visit or call 01829 730189.  Medisec Software is part of the Clanwilliam Group.

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