“Come and have a look at the London Care Record. Once you have used it you won’t ever want to not have it.”
These are the words of Dr Claire Charley, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Department Clinical Lead at Homerton University Hospital in Hackney.
Claire uses the London Care Record every day and is a powerful advocate for this critical tool that is used by around 100,000 health and care staff each month. So we are delighted to hear more from Claire as part of our latest Meet Team OneLondon feature (30 November 2023).
What is your role?
I have been a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Homerton University Hospital since 2016 and have also been the Emergency Department Clinical Lead since 2020. Prior to that I was a London Emergency Medicine trainee working at St Mary’s Paddington, Newham and The Royal London hospitals.
I love emergency medicine because no two days are the same! The stories and the illnesses are varied and I get a real sense of achievement, pride and satisfaction out of helping patients when they are in a crisis. I love Homerton and east London because the team I work with are so committed and are dedicated to our patients and each other.
How does the London Care Record help you in a busy Emergency Department?
Most staff in our Emergency Department use the London Care Record and really like it. It has revolutionised our ability to ensure that we have a patient’s whole story. Whether it’s because they are frail, vulnerable, elderly or just can’t tell you – not necessarily because they don’t want to tell you. Or you might have a patient that is a frequent attender, or people that are not that informed about their medical conditions and what medications they may be taking. In all those situations the London Care Record helps us to understand the patient’s story so we can provide the best possible care.
It can also help manage the ED patient flow better. Our senior consultants can check the London Care Record to help them filter the queue. It helps to better predict what a patient needs and stream them to speed up their treatment. For example it helps identify patients with a borderline specialty referral. By checking the London Care Record we can then see if they have seen GP or not and get some background that allows us to request a test or refer to specialist sooner. This speeds up the treatment for the benefit of the individual concerned.
Does the London Care Record help improve safety?
Having more information available alone makes care safer. The other thing about safety is that patients feel more like they can trust the process and systems better. They often feel reassured that we can see their GP record and other key information regardless of where they present. They often feel that ‘you know enough about them’ to provide the most effective care.
Any other benefits?
There are lots but another key area is that the London Care Record helps to avoid repeat investigations. We do not want to over-investigate patients where they might describe a pain they have had for months. By checking the London Care Record we can see that they have had several visits to their GP about the problem and tests have been done. Just by telling a patient ‘we can see you have had x, y and z done which is great, so we don’t need to do any more tests’ can be very reassuring for them.
Any final words for other health and care staff?
We have nothing but praise for the London Care Record. If it was ever taken away from us we would really struggle as we are so reliant on it. It is part of our information gathering and helps us connect the dots.
Whether outpatient letters, discharge summaries or radiology reports the wide range of information that can be seen in the London Care Record is just fantastic – especially for those working in urgent care. And it is all available at a click of a link 24/7.
Come and have a look at the London Care Record – once you have used it and discover what it can give you, you won’t ever want to not have it.