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Improving access to patient information for frontline staff in South West London

Frontline health and care staff in South West London now have more reliable access to accurate patient information helping to improve both the quality of care and the patients’ experiences of care (31 March 2023).

This month, South West London Integrated Care System has brought together the secure data systems that enable accurate sharing of patient information across healthcare providers, including hospitals, GPs, social care and community healthcare, with a single system now based at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust.

It is part of the London Care Record so that no matter where in the Capital a person is receiving care, the health professionals involved can see their medical history, including test results, medicines, allergies, plans for their care and other information such as hospital discharge summaries.  

An online survey of South West London’s health and care staff about the changes has shown frontline staff are very positive about the new system and how it can support them provide the most effective care possible.

In the first two weeks since the changes the London Care Record has already been viewed almost 70,000 times by over 8,000 different frontline staff in South West London, supporting their clinical decision making.

Dr Annie Murphy, GP partner and South West London Clinical Lead for Digital Services, said:

“As a GP, having access to information is of paramount importance to enable me to make the right decisions for my patients at the right time. The London Care Record is integrated within my clinical system and easily accessible. The new changes have improved efficiency of access, and allows me to see information from multiple organisations in South West London.”

Until now, South West London relied on a complex process involving three different systems to collate patient information. These involved complicated links to the London Care Record that often led to slower information sharing and reduced functionality. The new digital approach enables frontline staff to easily access the information they need to inform a person’s care, including using improved search functions. 

Martin Ellis, Lead for Digital Improvement in South West London said:

“This complicated project has been successful through amazing teamwork across our health and care partners. The London Care Record is an essential tool for informing care and improving care quality. This latest move, bringing together our existing information systems, means frontline staff have quick and reliable access to data that can help inform and speed up the steps involved in providing an individual’s health and care. We are proud of how we are improving care quality in South West London and we’re continuing to look for more ways to improve data sharing and information quality.”

The London Care Record is a single and secure view of a person’s health and care information and includes any conditions someone has, test results, medicines, allergies, plans for their care and other information such as hospital discharge summaries.

It is currently being used by approximately 55,000 health and care staff across London and some neighbouring areas per month. Only health and social care professionals involved in a person’s care can access the information.

You can find out more about the London Care Record here.

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