Making a difference together – our year improving health and care in London

Luke Readman

2022 has been quite a year for the nation with so many poignant moments (16 December 2022).

It has also been a significant year for OneLondon and our work to improve health and care in the Capital.

Thank you to all our amazing partners.

Together we have made important strides forward including introducing the Urgent Care Plan platform in record time – with an initial focus on end of life care plans.

We continue to develop the London Care Record –  just in the last few weeks the first care homes were connected and frontline staff can now view handover information from the London Ambulance Service. Look out for more stories from us in the new year about how these developments are making a difference.

Through our Pathfinder Projects and the launch of the new Improvement Projects we continue to make real progress using data at scale to improve the health and care of Londoners.

We are giving people more control and choice over their health and care and thanks to our networks of clinical experts we are ensuring that the voice of health and care professionals is centre stage of our work.

I am delighted that in this feature we hear from some of our partners about these important projects and the progress we have made together. Thank you so much to you all.

Luke Readman, Director of Digital Transformation NHS London Region

Introducing the new Urgent Care Plan platform in record time

The Urgent Care Plan is an NHS service that enables every Londoner to have their care and support wishes digitally shared with healthcare professionals across the Capital – including those who might see the person in an emergency. The UCP platform was launched in July this year with an initial focus on end-of-life plans. 

OneLondon supported South West London Integrated Care System to develop and introduce this new platform across London in just seven months!! It is delivered by Better Health.

The UCP team have plans to expand the platform, integrating it into more care settings such as mental health and social care. It provides almost endless opportunities across London for any suitable care pathways.

Dr Katherine Buxton MBChB (Hons) MA FRCP, Clinical Lead – Urgent Care Plan Programme, said:

“It is really important that we ensure that all health and care professionals involved in that person’s care are aware of their urgent care plan so their wishes and preferences can be respected.

“The new UCP platform is really helping healthcare teams with this while also saving them time. For example my colleagues at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust can access the UCP platform from within our existing electronic patient record system making it immediately accessible to all staff. As well as containing key information about patient’s wishes and preferences, it also shares a detailed care plan to help support the clinical management. This is so important in the event a person needs to be seen by a healthcare professional outside of their usual care team, as it supports consistency of care.”

Using data at scale to improve the health of Londoners

Through the London Health Data Strategy (LHDS) programme, we are bringing together data from across the Capital to drive forward real improvements in the health and care of Londoners. Our four trailblazing Pathfinder Projects continue to join up and use data in the key areas of cancer pathways, asthma, high blood pressure and pre-school immunisation and are making huge progress and learning valuable lessons.

In October we announced that we will support up to ten new Improvement Projects to use pan-London data in healthcare outcome improvement, planning, clinical research and product research and development.

The lessons learned from all these projects will shape the policies, infrastructure, governance, data strategies and public engagement of the LHDS programme as it develops a secure pan-London data platform to support improvements in health and care across the Capital.

With our partners, we’ve also been awarded funding to develop a Secure Data Environment for London that will support vital research in line with recommendations from Londoners about how their data is used. This is a really exciting project for 2023.

Professor Carol Dezateux, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Data Science at Queen Mary University and Childhood Immunisation Pathfinder Project Lead, said:

“We are proud to be leading this exciting project to use data to protect all London’s children from avoidable and serious infections. The Pathfinder Project allowed us to expand and share our work with health data in North East London with partners in other London regions to improve uptake of pre-school immunisations across the Capital. This was invaluable during the recent Polio Booster Campaign. When children in London needed an urgent additional dose of a polio vaccine, we were able to pivot our childhood immunisation tools, analysis and learning and inform the region-wide response.”

London Care Record going from strength to strength

The London Care Record has now been viewed over 21 million times by frontline health and care staff, in October we saw the highest ever monthly views and last month the first care homes in the Capital were connected to it. To improve the ambulance handover process London Ambulance Service patient information is now being sent in real time into the London Care Record so all of the Capital’s Emergency Departments can see it.

These are major milestones for the London Care Record which was introduced in March 2020 to speed up communication between care professionals across London and let those involved in a person’s care see important details about them when and where they need them.

Samantha Kelly, Change Manger and South West London ICS HIE Lead, said:

‘It is great to see the London Care Record going from strength to strength and here in south west London we are proud to support this important work. It really is a vital tool for frontline health and care staff giving them the information they need to provide patients with the best and safest care possible. But don’t take my word for it – let’s hear from some of our health and care professionals in south west London.”

Giving people more control over their health and care

This year OneLondon has been supporting NHS England and some of the Capital’s hospitals to link patient data to the NHS App to increase digital access for patients.  This is intended to give patients more control over their hospital appointments and how and when they access information and support.

In September St George’s became the first NHS Trust in the UK to do this. Their patients can now access their appointment information from both St George’s MyCare App and the NHS App.  Croydon followed up swiftly in November and Kingston should join the club early in the new year. It means their patients can view their appointments in one place, see a single point of contact for their appointments, have only one user name and password to remember, access supporting information, and eventually book, change or cancel their hospital appointments.

Ian Frost, Deputy Director Digital Enablement at South West London Health & Care Partnership, said:

“We want to give patients more control over their hospital appointments and better access to information and support. That’s why we have been working with NHS England to build on the success of the NHS App. Its great news that St George’s became the first London hospital to link patient data to the NHS App. This is going really well, with patients appreciating a single App for all their appointments. We look forward to more London hospitals coming on board over the coming weeks and months so even more patients can benefit. Most importantly engaging with our patients directly via the portals will help us transform and improve the way we deliver our elective services.”

Ensuring our clinical experts are centre stage of our work

Clinical expertise is absolutely vital in everything OneLondon does. We need to make sure that the plans we have to improve health and care across the Capital will not only work from a clinical perspective but will also help tackle the real issues our frontline staff face on a day to day basis and support them to deliver the best possible patient care.

That is why OneLondon prioritises involvement of clinical experts and has a number of networks to ensure their voices are heard at the planning, delivery and evaluation phases of our work. Thanks to you all for your involvement – we couldn’t do it without you.

Sarah Newcombe, Chief Nursing Information Officer NHS England and Improvement (London region), said:

“I am honoured to chair the London Regional Chief Nursing Information Officers (CNIO) network, they are an engaging, motivated and talented group from across London. It is great that OneLondon works in close partnership with us and our other regional clinical networks. Over the year we have been involved in Shared Care Records (SCR), the Urgent Care Plan (UCP) and ICS patient pathways. In particular I am really proud that we have supported both the enrolment of SCR, ensuring we are continually striving to join up healthcare for our patients, and the UCP work enabling those at end of life to have their care and support wishes visible for all professionals involved in their care.”

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