Partnering with PRSB to accelerate standards adoption across the health and care system

The way we share and store our health and care information can directly impact the delivery of care plans and their outcomes. Standards are critical; ensuring information is recorded consistently and can be accessed by relevant professionals in the right place, at the right time. 

Their use has been pivotal to Yorkshire & Humber Care Record’s work in delivering more joined-up care by bringing important information from multiple clinical systems into one. Implementing the standards has enabled access to accurate, real-time data whenever and wherever needed. PRSB is supporting their mission through its Standards Partnership Scheme, which provides expert guidance and advice to health and care providers and suppliers as they implement the standards. 

Lee Rickles, Yorkshire & Humber Care Record Programme Director, said: “If we don’t have standards, how do we know we’re heading in the right direction?” He feels the scheme plays an important role in driving their adoption: “Having a PRSB partner badge that you can wear with pride is a good thing. It suggests that the organisation lives up to the principles and cultural requirements set by PRSB standards. It further encourages adoption of the standards to better connect and share information across health and care settings.” 

“Yorkshire & Humber Care Record is working with information stored in EPRs, social care systems and GP systems. We need to be able to find that information and present it. That’s quite a complex operation when you take into account all the different software suppliers we are working with, and the different ways each setting has configured them. But if all had been implemented according to the standards set out by PRSB, information could be shared between systems regardless, and interoperability would be far more achievable. In the absence of PRSB standards, we couldn’t have achieved the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record.”  

There is a common misconception that electronic systems can automatically solve any issues – whether it’s technical, about  information governance or general access to health and care records: “The PRSB sits in a neat gap where other agencies and bodies don’t yet exist. Their standards are the glue that links technology to governance and operations.”   

Joining the PRSB’s Standards Partnership Scheme has helped the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record gain further recognition for their work around compliance with standards. “We are consistent in using standards, and so being a PRSB partner provides additional recognition that we are doing what is classed as good practice. It helps show that we have a high level of competency and capability”, Lee adds.  

Demonstrating a commitment to standards creates a virtuous circle of best practice. Lee notes that while we can motivate health and care providers and systems suppliers to adopt standards, external support from key health and care organisations to communicate the value of standards, is still needed to achieve this. Lee adds: “The importance of using standards should be pushed further by NHS organisations, ICSs, ICBs, and national bodies. There also needs to be more communication around managing changes in standards. For example, the Care Programme Approach process is coming to an end, and so a new way of conducting mental health assessments will need defining, which may lead to some amendments in the existing standards.”  

The Yorkshire & Humber Care Record already implemented some of PRSB standards, such as About Me, Ambulance Handover to Emergency Care, Mental Health Inpatient Discharge, Personalised Care and Support Plan, and the Core Information Standard. Lee perceives the latter as having the biggest impact so far, as it sets clear expectations for information that needs to be included in the shared care record. The next step for the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record will be to enrol in conformance assessment against the relevant PRSB standards: “Conforming to standards shows your competence and capability. It also helps ensure that your system meets necessary requirements, and providers should view attainment of the Quality Mark in the same way as securing something like the Cyber Essentials badge.” 

Collaboration is key to the successful adoption of information standards. This is why PRSB developed the Standards Partnership Scheme, which supports suppliers, and now also providers, in implementing standards and advancing interoperability across health and social care. Yorkshire and Humber Care Record, which designed and built the Interweave technology providing health and care providers and citizens with access to care records, is one of the organisations that is benefitting from our partnership.  

Lee perceives the scheme as helpful in learning best practice from like-minded professionals and forming prosperous relationships: “Working with the PRSB leads to thought-provoking discourse which provides a range of different expert perspectives. The PRSB is adept at building effective and constructive relationships through the Standards Partnership Scheme.”   

Whether you’re a supplier or health and care provider, we can support you in your journey towards standards adoption and conformance. Find out more about PRSB’s Standards Partnership Scheme at

Lee Rickles is a fellow of the BCS, FEDPI Leading Practitioner, CHIME Certificated Health Chief Information Officer and alumnus of the Digital Academy. He has three decades of transformation and programme management experience. His first decade focused on UK military aircraft projects and for the last two decades, he has focused on digital transformation in the NHS. He is currently leading the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record development to provide an open platform shared care record and population health systems. He is the Senior Responsible Owner for the mental health digital transformation of Humber & North Yorkshire ICS. He is also the CIO of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust who have been award the status as a project innovator as part of the NHS digital aspirant plus programme. Lee likes to read, is a keen runner and a children’s football coach and referee.

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