General Policy
Medical Director
Radiology IM&T Systems Manager
Radiology IM&T Systems Manager
Medical Director - Primary Care
05 October 2005
01 February 2017
01 March 2020

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


1.1 The function of PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) is to archive, store, distribute and display digital medical images, static or moving, and any associated media images. The system also provides facilities for image manipulation and comparison as well as access to radiological reports.

1.2 The solution operates across multiple locations with consistent and seamless capture of, access to and use of digital images by any healthcare practitioner authorised to do so at locations where they undertake their clinical work, research or education.


2.1 The system comprises multiple hardware and software components: Production servers/local archive storage, legacy archive storage, clinical grade PACS workstations, software client.

2.2 The production servers and local archive storage are housed within the datacentre at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy. This system contains the data captured from the current day going back to June 2011. The legacy archive storage hardware is housed within the datacentre at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. This holds data captured between the period of November 2003 and May 2011. Clinical grade PACS workstations are used for clinical reporting by Consultant Radiologists and reporting Radiographers within the Radiology departments at Victoria and Queen Margaret Hospitals. The software client is available on computers at any location where clinical review of images is required, such as A&E, outpatient clinics, operating theatres.

2.3 This policy applies throughout NHS Fife.


3.1 The system has been purchased by NHS Fife in accordance with national policy, and as such the system is operated and maintained under a formal contract with service level agreements in place to ensure that the system will aim to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with the exception of planned downtimes for necessary software upgrades.

3.2 The local PACS Project Board assumes responsibility for strategic decisions with regard to the deployment of PACS within Fife, with support and guidance from the Radiology IM&T Systems Manager who will provide information and advice as necessary.

3.3 It is the responsibility of the local system manager (Radiology IM&T Systems Manager) for the day-to-day running of PACS and to ensure all problems are reported, resolved within the appropriate timescales, and to ensure errors are corrected timeously.

3.4 There are regular meetings of the PACS Clinical Advisory Group (CAG). This group comprises nominated Radiologists from each health board in Scotland. This group provides guidance on clinical matters related to PACS. There is also a PACS Managers Users Forum with representatives from each health board. This group has close ties with the PACS CAG above. NHS Fife has a representative on both of these groups.


4.1 There is a procedure in place to complement this policy document - Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) Procedure GP/P3-01, which is also available on the Intranet.


5.1 Risks and incidents are recorded on Datix. Any clinical incidents occurring as a result of a PACS failure are brought to the attention of the PACS CAG.


6.1 See Appendix 1 of the PACS Procedure GP/P3-01 for the PACS Data Correction Form.


Data Protection Act 1998/Access to health Records policy Act 1990
GP/C9 NHS Fife Confidentiality Policy
GP/I5 NHS Fife Information Security Policy
GP/P2 NHS Fife Password Policy
GP/B2 NHS Fife Broadband Remote Access Policy
GP/I4 NHS Fife eHealth Procurement Policy and Procedure
NHS Scotland Service Level Agreement Summary

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