Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals across the region are working together through the Great North Care Record project to deliver better, safer care through improved digital record sharing.

Medical Interoperability Gateway

The first part of the Great North Care Record project has introduced the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) and the Information Sharing Gateway across the North East and North Cumbria.

The MIG is now operational and 96 per cent of GP practices in our region are now sharing information with ambulance, accident and emergency and out of hours providers.

Dr Mark Dornan, a GP and Professor Joe McDonald, consultant psychiatrist provide an overview of MIG and how it appears when the GP record is viewed in a hospital setting.

The summary information available at the point of care through the MIG – with the patient’s consent – includes details of medical conditions, medication, operations and treatment, tests requested or carried out, and contact details for next of kin or carers.

Information governance and security

The MIG has been implemented alongside the Information Sharing Gateway, to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place. Clinicians will ask for renewed consent at the start of each period of care. If a patient has opted out, information will not be available for the clinician to view.

This system keeps a record of everyone who has accessed a patient record, the time and date when they accessed it, and the information they were viewing.

Everyone in the region will be included in the Great North Care Record initiative, if a patient is happy to be included, they do not need to take any further action.

We believe that all patients can benefit from better information sharing, but some patients understandably may have concerns about information sharing. Every patient will be offered the chance to opt out, though we very much hope to reassure people of the benefits and safeguards associated with the system, and minimise opt-outs.

The Information Sharing Gateway provides an electronic means of supporting the appropriate Information Governance documentation, including relevant Information Sharing Agreements.

Who is leading this work?

Connected Health Cities North East and North Cumbria is overseeing implementation of the Great North Care Record. We are working collaboratively with partners at the Academic Health Science Network, clinical commissioning groups, trusts, out-of-hours services, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and GP practices across the region.

To find out more or discuss the Great North Care Record, please contact us at

What is next for the Great North Care Record?

Implementation of the MIG was just the first step in creating the Great North Care Record.

We are now looking to create a Health Information Exchange (HIE)  prototype which will allow records to be shared two-way, so other healthcare settings can add to the patient’s record.

We are also seeking to engage with local authorities to extend the use of the record to social care.

To enable the development of the Great North Care Record to this stage, we need to develop a dynamic consent model which puts the citizen in control of how their data is shared. We are engaging with citizens to understand their views on data sharing for healthcare and beyond and are in the early stages of developing a technical solution.

Our vision is that we continue to extend use of the record for researchers in our region. Citizens will ultimately decide whether they want their identifiable information to be shared in this way.

You can find out more detail about what we plan to implement in the future in the Technical Vision document.

Great North Care Record Network

We have set up the Great North Care Record Network for professionals working in our region from healthcare, social care and academia .

The network meets on a face to face basis and has an online forum where discussions and documents can be shared. We also keep network members up to date on the implementation of the Great North Care Record.

To join the network email

Find out more about the network.

Communities of Practice – Caffe Informatica

Caffe Informatica 003: The digital age of the expert patient, what’s available and barriers to adoption – Thursday 24 May, 10.00-11.30, Mangobean Darlington

This Caffe Informatica gathering will hear from Fiona McDonald, who is a nurse by background and has worked on the Electronic Prescription Service as a clinical lead and as senior clinical advisor to the Patient Online programme.

Hear how the digitalisation of patient services has meant that we have begun to overcome the paternalistic approach to clinical care, as patients have become more informed.

Read the Factsheet.