NHS England has announced that Greater Manchester will become a Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) to establish an integrated health and care record across a large population.
Joining up IT systems so that doctors, nurses and other care professionals can see vital information about a patient’s history means they can determine the right treatment, or escalate to the right specialist, as quickly as possible.
Parts of Greater Manchester have already made strong steps towards developing integrated care records locally but this £7.5m investment from NHS England will mean that IT systems across all 10 boroughs will be connected so they can share information.
For example, a GP will be able to share important patient information with qualified professionals working within any Greater Manchester hospital, mental health service, social care service or in the community.
The plan also involves agreeing and implementing robust information governance and data sharing agreements across the whole care community, such as defining which professionals see can access which records and under which circumstances. It also relates to providing patients with increased access to their own information.
The project is being led by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Health Innovation Manchester.
Jon Rouse, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:
“To deliver the best care today and in the future, it is vital that our health and care professionals can share information easily and that we use data to plan and change services to better meet people’s needs. We want patients to know that the care and treatment they receive in Greater Manchester is based on the best available information and that we will use their data safely and responsibly. Becoming a local health and care record exemplar is fantastic news for Greater Manchester. It will allow us to move forward with plans at a quicker pace and is a further testament to our devolved health and social care system and unique attributes where agencies work together to deliver improvements for the benefit of our patients and citizens.”
Once complete the shared care record covering Greater Manchester will integrate information from 472 GP practices, 10 acute trusts, 10 councils, 3 mental health trusts, 3 out of hours providers and 6 community providers.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
“In Greater Manchester, devolution has given us the unique opportunity to do things differently, and nowhere is that change needed more than within our fragmented health and social care services. Improving the ways we collect, use and share patient information is just one step on our course to deliver a 21st century health and social care service here in Greater Manchester. We want to lead the way on healthcare, providing a fully integrated service that is centred on the needs of individuals, provides long-term care solutions, helps people live independently, and supports people in their own homes and communities.”
Parts of Greater Manchester already use a system called CareCentric by Graphnet, which the remaining areas will also be adopting. CareCentric works by connecting different systems and sharing information between them. An existing tool called DataWell will also be used to cleanse the data, removing duplication and errors.
The shared care record encompassing CareCentric and DataWell will be overseen by a team of experts hosted by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which is a Global Digital Exemplar.
Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of Salford Royal and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group said:
“We are delighted to be able to leverage the expertise from Salford’s global digital exemplar and to work with partners across Greater Manchester to deliver the country’s foremost digital connectivity across the city region”.