NHSX has revealed that 37 of 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) now have basic shared care records in place, meaning that five missed the national target.
The shared care record system officially replaced the local health and care record (LHR) programme in April, in a bid to improve NHS staff’s access to patient data.
NHSX gave the ICSs one year from September 2020 to establish shared care records, following a report by the National Audit Office, which said many trusts could not view or update records held by other local organisations.
According to a blog post by NHSX unit programme director for shared care records, Ashley Hannah, a further two ICSs are on target to establish the records by the end of 2021-22. The three remaining ICSs will receive extra support and funding to help them reach the target.
He said that the “demanding” target had been more challenging because of the competing priorities of the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite this the ICSs had “made great strides forward”.
Ashley added that over the next few years, NHSX aims to help ICSs bring shared care records to other settings including social care, hospices, pharmacies, dentists, and optometrists. Eventually the NHS hopes to link shared care records between ICSs to create a nationwide shared record across England.
WHY IT MATTERS
Shared care records allow primary and secondary care clinicians to see the same information about a patient, meaning that patients only need to share their health and care history once instead of multiple times.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Under the UK’s new Health and Social Care Bill introduced to the house of Commons in July, Integrated Care Boards (ICB) and Integrated Care Partnerships (ICP) are responsible for bringing together local government and NHS services in England, such as social care, mental health and public health services.
This followed plans announced in February by former health secretary Matt Hancock to reform the NHS and deliver a more joined up health and care system.
A government white paper outlined proposals to make integrated care systems (ICSs) the default across England, “bust bureaucracy”, and better support social care, public health and improve the way data is collected and shared.
In October 2019, Graphnet was awarded a contract to provide a single integrated care record in England’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent area using it CareCentric software.
ON THE RECORD
In the blog Hannah, said: “Digitising paper records, recording data in a consistent way and putting in place the right systems so that data can be shared across organisational boundaries has been an enormous undertaking.
“The implementation of a shared care record requires more than just technical solutions; behind every successful implementation is a vast amount of engagement with staff and local people to get the solution right for them and to enable the necessary changes in culture and practice.”