Mark Whitehead 23 May 2018

Three areas chosen to pilot health and care records scheme

Information about patients will be shared between hospitals and GPs in a new 'partnership' scheme being trialled in three areas of England.

NHS England says it means doctors and nurses will be able to reduce unnecessary patient tests and improve safety.

They will be given better and faster access to vital information about the person in their care to help them determine the right action as quickly as possible.

Currently doctors and other care professionals are often unable to access crucial patient information quickly if it is held in another part of the health service, sometimes having to rely on post or fax, according to NHS England.

London, Manchester and Wessex (Hampshire and Dorset) have been chosen to become ‘local health and care record exemplars’ to try out the new system following earlier small-scale trials.

Dr Simon Eccles of NHS England said: 'Sharing information for people’s individual care can be lifesaving by quickly providing staff with the details they need, from patient histories to previous test results and care plans.

'The public already assume their GP practice and hospital can see their records, now in the NHS’s 70th year through local health and care records we will start to make this possible.'

Kate Allsopp, digital lead on the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'We are pleased that all of the successful areas have included engagement with councils in their bids and their plans, recognising the importance they have in supporting integrated and personalised care at a local level.

'Responsible, safe and secure sharing of care records that are readily available in health and care settings will help reduce unnecessary repeat or duplicate tests and hospital admissions, support the safeguarding of children and adults and help deliver care and health services more effectively. Engaging people about how their information is used will be key in building trust with the public.'

Will Smart, chief information officer for Health and Care, said: 'We were very impressed by the standard of bids we received and the ambition across the country, in the coming weeks we will be talking to those remaining areas to understand which two are ready to join the initial group this year.'

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