October 26, 2020

Positive impact on workload and workflow reported by frontline staff using the London Care Record

Frontline staff are benefitting from access to joined-up information about their patients and service users via London’s shared health and care record – saving time, streamlining services, and supporting fast, safe, effective care.

The London Care Record enables local care teams to see relevant health and care information about a person that is held by organisations in other London geographies. So if someone from Clapham (South East London) turns up at the A&E at University College Hospital (North Central London), care teams can access the information they need to treat that person quickly and safely. This could include any allergies, current medications, existing long-term conditions, and previous investigations.

The London Care Record builds on existing data sharing initiatives, better recognised within local STP geographies as:

As of October 2020, acute and primary care services in North East London, South East London, South West London and North Central London are connected to the London Care Record, in addition to some mental health, community care, urgent and emergency care, and social care services. Acute and primary care services in North West London are expected to be connected to the London Care Record by December.

Positive impact on workload and workflow

Over 23,000 health and care professionals across the region are already using the London Care Record and are reporting positive impacts on workload and workflow.

Dr Liz Heitz, a Consultant Community Geriatrician and Chief Clinical Information Officer for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, commented:

“When patients are transferred to our stroke unit from other hospitals, our stroke team can immediately see what investigations have already been carried out and can access the results. If we see that a patient has already had an echocardiogram or undertaken 24-hour tape ECG monitoring, there is no need to repeat this. This simple reduction in duplication saves time for the multi-disciplinary team and there are cost-saving benefits for the Trust. Most importantly, it ensures efficient, safer care for the patient.”

Dr Osman Bhatti, a GP in North East London and Chief Clinical Information Officer for North East London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), commented:

“One of the quick wins of using the London Care Record has been fast-tracking two-week wait referrals for suspected cancer patients. We’ve adopted a new ‘safety net’ procedure whereby we run a weekly search on our system to see how many referrals have been done. A member of our admin team then uses the shared care record to see if the patient has been given a hospital appointment.”

How to access the London Care Record

The London Care Record is available for health and care professionals to access through their native electronic health record system. No login credentials are required and there is no additional search needed.

The London Care Record is enabled by a network of health information exchanges (HIEs). These HIEs join up data safely and securely, providing a single, aggregated record of patient information from over time and across organisations and geographies within London. Frontline staff accessing the London Care Record will be able to see a joined-up view of patient/service user data from multiple settings, including primary care, acute services, mental health, community care and social care (where connections are still being made, the level of current or historical information about a person’s health and care varies across each STP geography).

Meeting Londoners’ expectations for joined-up care

Implementation and delivery of the London Care Record is being driven by the OneLondon Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme. This transformation programme is being led by London’s five health and care partnerships (STPs/ICSs) in collaboration with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and the Greater London Authority.

The work of the OneLondon LHCRE has involved extensive public engagement to understand and respond to Londoners’ expectations around the use of health and care data. The outputs of this engagement are helping to shape regional policy to ensure we operate in line with these expectations, thereby building public trust and confidence. This has included a large-scale deliberative Citizens’ Summit with 100 participants reflective of London’s diverse population. The majority of participants (97%) expected all health and care organisations in London to join up identifiable information to support the provision of care to individuals.

One participant involved in the Citizens’ Summit, said:

“I consider my healthcare information to be very personal and it’s important that it is discussed openly as to whether we want that to be shared, or the extent to which it’s shared. It’s very democratic to be part of this process. We can often feel, politically, quite impotent as individuals, so being able to feel like the opinions I’m expressing are going to be helping to shape policy… it’s really good to be a part of it.”

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