Ahead of Allied Health Profession’s Day on 14 October we are delighted to introduce Deirdre Baker in our latest Meet Team OneLondon Feature. An occupational therapist by background, Deirdre is currently Clinical Design Lead at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) and working on a project to promote the use of the London Care Record to frontline staff at CLCH (12 October 2023).
What is your background?
I am an Occupational Therapist (OT) by background specialising in elderly care. I have worked in many acute hospitals across London before moving to Hertfordshire where I worked as a therapy lead across West Hertfordshire community hospitals. I always had a keen interest in clinical record keeping and the electronic record so a few years ago I decided to change my career path and I moved into the clinical systems team. It was a big decision to move away from providing direct patient care but I loved learning about system configuration and my background helped me to translate the needs of frontline services into system design and build. I later moved into a Clinical Safety Officer role before moving to CLCH where I have since worked in digital transformation and clinical system mobilisations.
What is your current role at CLCH?
I am a Clinical Design Lead in the CLCH IM&T team and my colleague Imran Qazi and I are currently standing up a new programme called Clinical Systems Design for Care. As part of this programme, we are starting a project looking at how we support staff in their adoption and use of shared records for direct care purposes. These shared records will include GP records, the Hertfordshire and West Essex Shared Care Record (for our services in West Hertfordshire) and the London Care Record (for our services in London). We will be providing training to staff on record sharing consent, how to access third party records from their clinical systems and how to navigate them to find the information they need. But most importantly we will be supporting services to develop their use cases for accessing the shared record and embed these into their clinical pathways.
We are really excited about this project and the benefits this will bring to our staff and our patients. Additional information available at the point of care can not only support clinical decision making but improve efficiencies and reduce workload burden. CLCH is committed to delivering integrated care with our partners. Many of the patients we support have complex needs and can be under the care of multiple organisations. We want our staff to start thinking about the clinical record differently – not just what they can see and record under their own organisation, but as a wider record, supporting joined up working and providing a greater picture of the patient’s journey and care. Access to this wider record will improve communication, reduce the risk of duplication and errors, and improve the patient’s experience of their care.
What difference will having access to the London Care Record have for AHPs in particular?
I am looking forward to joining CLCH colleagues in celebrating AHP day on Friday 13th October at the CLCH AHP conference. AHPs have a crucial role in the delivery of care to our community patients. Many of our CLCH AHPs are already using the shared record daily – it is providing them with valuable information they previously did not have direct access to. For example, podiatry colleagues access the shared record to view swab results or x-ray reports for their MSK patients. Bed-based physiotherapy colleagues are viewing the shared record to review discharge summaries, fracture clinic reports and appointment dates. As an OT I am excited to start seeing information being shared from social services and exploring how this may improve processes, especially around complex manual handling, equipment, and care provision for our patients.
In a year’s time what do you hope to have achieved with this project?
As we expand our use of shared records, we will share learning across our organisation. I hope we will continue to see the shared record evolve; see more information from community services available (such as key documents and clinical reports) and hear more of the patient’s voice and preferences for their care.
In a year’s time I hope that CLCH staff feel confident in navigating the shared record; they use it routinely as part of their triage, assessment, and treatment processes and its use is embedded into their clinical pathways. I hope that staff see it as the full patient’s record – not an add on that they only refer to every now and again.
Mostly I hope that staff will tell us that they feel more confident delivering direct care because of accessing the shared record. It supports them to make clinical decisions but especially in situations where they have felt under pressure, the patient may have been at risk or there was limited information available in the community record. I also hope that they will tell us it has released some time for them – reduced the burden of chasing and requesting information – and it has enabled them to provide better and safer care to our patients.