Nottinghamshire shared care record goes live at acute trusts

The first phase of a shared care record programme has gone live in Nottinghamshire.

The Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal is a community-wide programme designed to allow care providers in the region share patient information.

The technology is built on Graphnet’s CareCentric shared record software and is in the process of being rolled out across the county. It is already being used by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust.

The portal provides clinicians with a summary view of patient records from 157 GP practices. It is embedded within the System C Medway electronic patient record (EPR) and patient administration system (PAS), meaning it can be accessed from the hospital’s central IT system.

Dr Jeremy Lewis, CCIO at NUH, said the response to the shared record system had been “extremely positive”.

He added: “Sharing information is central to our strategy for service transformation and the development of new integrated care pathways. Every day I am hearing of cases where having access to wider records in the acute environment has been of immediate and direct benefit to patient care.

“Having the portal integrated within our core clinical system with no separate login has made the system much more popular than other standalone sources of information.”

Dr Lewis also tweeted that the portal had 2666 users in January. (see full tweet below)

Highlighting the benefits of the Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal, Dr Lewis said the system had enabled stroke consultants to more easily access GP information when they admit hyper-acute patients directly from the ambulance service.

“This is particularly true when they are seeing patients for consideration of thrombolysis (potentially dangerous clot-busting medication) when rapid access to a patient’s medication history is critical,” he added.

The next phase of the initiative is to integrate the portal with community and mental health services from Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, as well completing the roll-out across acute NHS trusts in the region.

Longer term, it is hoped that social care information will also be connected to the shared record.

The Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal forms part of the Connected Nottinghamshire programme, a project set up by local NHS organisations to develop IT initiatives that support the integration of health and care services in the county.

It mirrors similar shared care projects that have cropped up around the country as of late, including the Bolton Care Record launched in Greater Manchester in January and the Share Your Care programme, which went live in Berkshire the same month.

Despite this, there appears to have been somewhat of a cooling-off from NHS England about the sharing of health records, which has temporarily put a halt on the contracting process for its appointment of so-called Local Integrated Care Record Exemplars (LICRE).

Beverley Bryant, chief operating officer at System C & Graphnet Care Alliance, said: “The NHS has come a long way since we introduced the UK’s first shared care record in Hampshire. The massive benefits of shared care records to clinicians and patients are now well recognised and we are very pleased to see more and more care communities”