Young multiracial doctor having fun with little girl on a wheelchair.

Making a difference together during 2023

Today we have published OneLondon’s Highlights Report for 2023 setting out some of our joint achievements as a partnership from the last year. Here OneLondon Programme Director, Joss Palmer, reflects on OneLondon’s year – as well as our priorities for 2024 (14 December 2023).

Joss Palmer

Our 2023 Highlights Report really shows just how much we have achieved together during the year and how it is making a difference supporting our health and care staff provide safe and effective care more quickly. It highlights three themes that I believe are fundamental to what we do, and to what we must continue to do in 2024.

Expanding record sharing

It might seem obvious but it is vital that the London Care Record contains the information that our health and care staff need. That is why one of our priorities is to extend record sharing across the Capital and ‘complete’ the London Care Record.

This year we have made important progress doing this with all of London’s GP data now included. This was a significant milestone for us and testament to a lot of hard work by a lot of people over several years.

We have also taken important steps to expand record sharing in a range of other areas with information from the first Mental Health Trust and remotely monitored cardiac patients both now being shared across the Capital through the London Care Record .

Whether supporting people with mental health or heart conditions this really does make a positive difference to the joined-up care people receive. We will continue to prioritise improving the richness of the London Care Record for the benefit of our communities.

This year we have also seen an expansion of the Universal Care Plan (UCP). From its initial go-live we have seen use grow and there are now over 86,000 people with a UCP in London.  The UCP itself has been expanded and its care planning platform is now being extended to sickle cell.  We’re currently talking to ICSs about their priority pathways and expect to see the UCP extend to new clinical and care pathways in 2024!

Expanding access

It is great that the London Care Record has been used over 15 million times this year. But we want even more people to benefit through new connections and new ways to view it.

We were really pleased by the success of our pilot programme connecting the Capital’s first care homes to the London Care Record and work is underway to expand this to more care homes.

To support more people from areas outside of London who are referred for treatment in the Capital we are connecting more neighbouring areas to the London Care Record – including Oxford, Bedford and Luton.

Through the new mobile app version of the London Care Record our ambulance teams can now view important information about the people they are treating while out on a call, helping inform the ‘on the spot’ decisions they take. We are considering how this kind of mobile app solution could support other health and care staff.   

All of this makes a difference. For example thanks to growing access and use of the UCP we are seeing an increasing number of people have their end-of-life preferences respected.

Why our work matters

We know that our work together helps support safer, more effective and quicker care. But it is really important that we are able to clearly demonstrate this. This year we published our first independent study about the economic benefits of the London Care Record that showed it saves health and care professionals’ time up to a value of £44.4 million.

We know that more work is needed in some areas to really drill down into the other benefits like safety and we will prioritise this. In the meantime it is great to see testimonials from staff like Dr Claire Charley, ED Consultant at Homerton Hospital, who powerfully explains just what a vital tool the London Care Record is.

The quantitative and qualitative evidence are both really important. It is vital that decision makers and budget holders understand these benefits as they plan their priorities for the coming year. One of my jobs is to constantly remind them about this!

Lessons learned

My main lesson from the year is that we are at our best when we listen and involve a wide range of people in our work.

Everything we do must support health and care staff deliver better, more joined up care. As the experts they must continue to be centre stage of our plans and we need to continue to prioritise our engagement with them.

While Londoners have already told us said they want us to join up information to improve the direct care people receive we must continue to listen, and be open and transparent with them, about how we do this. A great example is how the Universal Care Plan Team has established a ‘People with Lived Experience’ Group who they work closely with.

With so much great work happening across the country it is also important to learn from colleagues working on these projects. I was pleased to represent OneLondon at the first National Shared Care Record Summit this year and hear about some of these projects. I am looking forward to next year’s Summit in Birmingham – and it’s great to be working with colleagues across the country to plan and arrange it.  There will be some great speakers so do book your place here!

Next year

Thank you to everyone involved with the OneLondon partnership. Together we really have made a difference during 2023 and it has been a pleasure to work with so many talented and committed people. I look forward to continuing this work together in 2024 where we have bold plans to deliver even more.

Skip to content