New standard to make joined-up care a reality

The PRSB has published a new standard for shared care records, that determines the vital information about a person that should be shared between health and care systems so care is safer, timely and more effective.

The government has outlined ambitious plans for health and social care over the next decade, from improvements to maternity care to better services that help ensure that people stay healthier in the community and avoid hospital stays where possible. In order to provide the right care, information about people needs to be safely shared between different systems across health and social care.

Working with NHS England, the PRSB has asked citizens and health and care professionals to help produce a ‘core information standard’ that defines exactly what information should be shared in a person’s care record throughout their life.

The standard includes a wide range of information from different services, including the GP, hospitals, social care and mental health services among others. It will incorporate an ‘about me’ section, which outlines what people want professionals to know about their care, as well as other crucial information, such as allergies, medications and alerts. Once implemented, it will mean that everyone involved in a person’s care, including the patient, carer and guardian, will have access to relevant data. As a result, people won’t have to repeat their history and services can deliver tailored, personalised care. It will be piloted in regions across the UK, as part of the Local Health and Care Record programme.

The standard has been produced following consultation with more than 1,500 individuals and organisations through online and face-to-face workshops and a survey. More than 1000 people completed the survey for this project, with 90% agreeing that joining up digital health and care information will lead to better, safer and more personalised services across the UK. Around 80% of respondents also supported personalising care through use of an ‘about me’ section in their care records.

National guidance on information governance is being tested by local health and care records to ensure that patients can be confident their information will be viewed by professionals on a ‘need to know basis’ only. They are also adopting guidance on cyber security to make sure that patients’ sensitive health and care data is held securely.

The first regions that have been selected to pilot the standard are Greater Manchester, Thames Valley and Surrey, Wessex, One London and Yorkshire and Humber. However, the standard can be used across the UK.

Professor Maureen Baker, PRSB chair, said: “As a GP, providing safe, high quality care for my patients depends on having the latest information from colleagues in hospital and the community about my patients’ care. That is why I am so pleased to that PRSB has produced the core information standard and why I am so keen it is in use as soon as possible. Having up-to-date information helps me make better clinical decisions and work more effectively with other services and it helps people stay closer to home with more control of their own health and care.”

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