Late last year the first care homes in the Capital were connected to the London Care Record. This pilot programme demonstrated how it helped support staff provide their residents with even more effective care so access is now being rolled out to more of the Capital’s care homes.
In this feature we hear from Sami Jordan from South West London ICS. Sami talks about her role as Project Manager for the roll out in south west London and how the London Care Record continues to make a positive difference for care home residents (29 November 2023).
Supporting care home staff
Many care homes are not connected to the London Care Record that gives their staff instant access to key information about their residents like hospital discharge summaries, their medicines, previous medical history or plans for their care.
This can make it is harder to provide the best care for their residents and involves calls to GP surgeries, hospitals or others trying to get the information they need. Having access to the London Care Record means smoother care for residents such as administering medicines or discharges from hospital.
It is vital dedicated care home staff have the tools they need to deliver the best possible care for their residents. So I was delighted to be involved in a pilot programme connecting the first care homes in the Capital to the London Care Record, meaning that for the first time they could see wider and key information about their residents from a range of health and care settings across London. This includes allergies, test results and care plans as well as GP data and hospital discharge summaries.
In south west London, there were nine care homes involved in the pilot. The pilot programme ran for eight weeks from December to February and included ongoing evaluation of the difference having access to the London Care Record was having. There were some really impressive results.
Access to more complete information helped staff provide more effective care to residents, reduced unnecessary ambulance call outs and hospital admissions and supported faster discharges from hospital.
It also saved care home staff, as well as GP surgery teams and hospital staff, valuable time by reducing the need to spend time on the phone checking key information that is available to view within the London Care Record.
Rolling out the programme
So it was fantastic that at the end of the pilot the decision was taken to give these care homes, including the nine in my area, continued access to the London Care Record. I was even more delighted when a decision was taken, based on the overwhelmingly positive findings from the pilot programme, to roll this out to more care homes in London.
I am really proud to be the Project Manager for the roll out in south west London, where there are around 350 care homes. On a daily basis this means ensuring our care homes are compliant and remain compliant, they undertake the required training, have been granted the appropriate access and have the correct interpretation of information being shared but most importantly, they are getting the most out of it. It also means making sure the team of Health and Social Care Integration Officers work with care homes for the roll out when the timing is right for the home as we know coming into winter, care homes have added pressures.
We are working to accredit their electronic record system providers and hope to see the next wave of care homes go live in the new year. This is likely to include up to 75 care homes in south west London. More care homes will then be connected on a phased approach.
Making a difference
In the meantime, I continue to get positive feedback from the care homes already connected in terms of the time it saves staff, how the information available helps them provide the best and safest care possible and how it reduces delays.
I am proud to be working on a project that is making such a positive difference. It is so exciting that other care home staff, and more importantly their residents, will also benefit from this in a few months’ time. But don’t just take my word for it – let’s hear from some of south west London’s care home managers themselves!
Care Home Manager, Croydon, south west London:
“The London Care Record is helpful when we admit new residents as we can view more information about them such as their past medical history, allergies and other information that is useful in best meeting their needs.”
Care Home Manager, Morden, south west London:
“Now I can use the London Care Record to check a resident’s hospital appointment and can also see their medical history so we can better support them with any medical help and wider care that they need. I can also check on a resident admitted to hospital and update their next of kin without having to ring the hospital to check.”
Care Home Manager, Sutton, south west London:
“The London Care Record has massively helped us access information as needed and means that we do not need to spend time on the phone checking information we can now access ourselves.”