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Ambulance patient handover summaries now available in London Care Record

Frontline health and care staff are now able to view patient information from the ambulance staff who treated their patients in the London Care Record – supporting the handover process and helping to improve the continuity of care patients receive (5 April 2023).

The London Care Record is a single and secure view of a person’s health and care information which helps ensure frontline staff have the information they need about a person when they need it, to inform their clinical decision making.

It is used by over 55,000 health and care staff in London and some neighbouring areas each month. Only health and social care professionals involved in a patient’s care are allowed to access the information.

Since late last year, information about patients taken to hospital and all other emergency care units by London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance crews has been available in near real time in the London Care Record. This includes information about the condition of the patient, the medication and treatment provided and how the patient has responded.

From this month information about patients treated at home or not taken to hospital is now also available in the London Care Record. This means that other staff involved in that person’s continuing care, such as GPs or midwives, can see important information from the ambulance staff who treated them, helping inform the care they provide that person in the future.

Around 90,000 ambulance patient encounter and case summaries are now being securely shared with other frontline staff through the London Care Record each month. This is making a positive difference in terms of planning care, clinical decision making and saving them valuable time:

  • Near real time information is supporting the handover process at Emergency Departments or other urgent care settings as staff have the information they need to plan treatment before the patient arrives helping to make care safer and more efficient.
  • Staff working in primary care settings like GPs and community nurses can now see important information about the treatment provided by ambulance crews helping inform the care they provide a person moving forwards.
  • Care homes connected to the London Care Record can see a record of the treatment their residents received by ambulance crews helping them more effectively plan the care of their residents when they return home.

 

Stuart Crichton, London Ambulance Service Chief Clinical Information Officer, said: 

 “The London Care Record is changing the way we access and share clinical data to aid prompt decision-making. Our staff are accessing these records over 4,000 times per month to inform key clinical decisions. In another important step LAS encounter and case summaries can now also be viewed in the London Care Record which means clinical staff right across London can see this important information supporting them to provide the most effective care.”

Dr Helene Brown, GP in North East London and Medical Director for System Improvement and Professional Standards at NHS England (London), said: 

“It is vital for GPs to have immediate access to the most up to date information about their patients. Recently London Ambulance Service were called to a patient at his home who was unwell but did not need immediate transfer to hospital. By being able to access information from the paramedic on the scene I was able to contact the appropriate services to quickly change both his care package and his medications. This was all done within a few hours of the visit to the patient helping to avoid a hospital admission. This meant the man could remain in his home which was what he wanted. This is really helping to improve communication between ambulance teams and General Practice for the benefit of patients.”

Ronniel Alarilla, Registered Manager Heathlands Care Home, said:

“Recently one of our residents had to be admitted to hospital. Thanks to the London Care Record we could see the patient summaries from both the London Ambulance Service and Emergency Department so could check their condition which gave the team peace of mind. Crucially it also gave us the information we need to effectively plan their care when they return to the home.”

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