A handful of ICSs have missed an important target to implement shared care records
"Having a shared care record means that an oncologist treating a patient for cancer in Leeds can see the same information as a GP in Rotherham, enabling them to work better together." Ashley Hannah, programme director for shared care records at NHSX
Five integrated care systems (ICSs) have missed a national target to improve NHS staff’s access to patient data, HSJ has reported.
In September 2020, NHSX gave ICSs a year to establish shared care records across the region for which they were responsible. At the end of September 2021, NHSX confirmed that 37 of 42 ICSs had a “basic” shared care record in place – meaning that they passed NHSX checks on their ability to connect between primary and secondary care, the “robustness and realisms” of their delivery plans, and their use of an NHS England procurement framework when sourcing the software to ensure future interoperability.
Although NHSX declined to name the five ICS which have not yet established a shared care record, a blog post by Ashley Hannah, programme director for shared care records at NHSX, reveals that two are on track to deliver by the end of 2021-22, and that the three remaining will receive “bespoke packages of support, including funding”.
A shared care record is an important step in providing joined-up care for patients. It means that primary care doctors and nurses can see the same information about a patient as hospital clinicians, including details about their treatment or care history. In his blog post, Hannah said: “A shared care record is an essential foundation to delivering safe, personalised and seamless care.”
The instruction to set up shared care records came shortly after the National Audit Office reported that many trusts could not view or update a shared care record held by other local organisations.
“Having a shared care record means that an oncologist treating a patient for cancer in Leeds can see the same information as a GP in Rotherham, enabling them to work better together. It allows a young person with learning disabilities or poor mental health to have their wider care needs known and respected when admitted to an acute hospital,” Hannah wrote.
When NHSX set the target last year, its chief executive Matthew Gould acknowledged it was “stretching” yet “key” for ICSs.
Hannah wrote that the next aim was to help ICSs allow other professionals and settings, such as social care, hospices, pharmacists, dentists, and optometrists, to access the shared care record. The NHS will then aim to link all the ICSs’ shared care records in order to create a shared record across England.