Health Information Exchange

The Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the latest phase of the Great North Care Record which allows authorised health and care staff to view patient information – held in different clinical systems across the North East and North Cumbria – at the click of a button.
Phase one of the Great North Care Record gave view only access to the GP record for 3.6million people living across the region to accident and emergency, out of hours, ambulance, mental health and 111 services. This was using technology called the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) and was the first step in the process towards creating an integrated care record.
This second phase introducing the HIE will enable more organisations – including primary care, hospitals, mental health, ambulance and adult social care – to view key information about people’s health and care such as diagnoses, medication, details of hospital admissions and treatments, held by those different organisations.
HIE will replace the MIG and will be introduced before the end of March 2020.
This animation explains the next phase of the Great North Care Record.

How does it work?

The HIE is a ‘view only’ system which pulls through and displays data held in disparate clinical systems about a particular patient with whom you have a legitimate relationship.
In most cases you will access HIE whilst accessing a patient’s record within your native clinical IT system (for example, eRecord at the Newcastle Hospitals).
You are not able to change or edit the data but the HIE allows you to interrogate the data based on a number of categories including date and organisation.
Training materials will be distributed before the HIE launches.

What data is available on the HIE?

The data shared will vary from organisation to organisation and will depend on each clinical system’s technical ability to connect to the HIE.
In the main, the data shared will be across these broad data sets:
  • Problems
  • Diagnoses
  • Procedures
  • Medications
  • Vital Signs
  • Allergies
  • Immunisations
  • Lab Results
  • Scans
  • Clinical Correspondence
  • Appointments
  • Physical Examinations
  • Family History
  • Visits
  • Social History

When can I access the HIE?

You can access the HIE for direct patient care, when you have a legitimate reason for doing so.
The processing of personal data for the provision of direct care is allowed under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  This means that key information about a patient’s health and care (such as diagnoses, medications, details of hospital admissions and treatments) can be shared between different health and care services who are member organisations of the Great North Care Record.
Best practice would be to inform patients wherever possible that their record has been or will be accessed and we would encourage staff to continue to do this at all appropriate opportunities, although you no longer need explicit permission from the patient to access their record. Find out more about why we removed permission to view.
If you would like to find out more about the legal basis for accessing information, and what controls and safeguards are in place to prevent inappropriate access, we have published a short IG guide.

The future for the HIE

We plan to connect all the organisations listed at the end of this document. This will mean that for patients living in the North East and North Cumbria, health and care staff will be able to access data about them from across the whole region.

The programme is focused on connecting these organisations in the first instance. In the longer term future we can look at how other organisations involved in direct care, could also provide data, or view the HIE. This could include care homes, pharmacy, dentists, optometry and others.
We will also explore how additional datasets may be of benefit once frontline staff can see the benefits of the data that is currently available on the HIE.

What should patients do if they have questions about the Great North Care Record?

All organisations involved in the Great North Care Record have been provided with posters and patient leaflets. The best place to signpost people to, if the leaflets do not answer their questions is the helpline or the Great North Care Record website

What if patients don’t want their information to be made available?

Contact the helpline on 0344 811 9587, email:, or visit the opt out page on our website.

How do I get involved with the Great North Care Record?

Firstly, speak to your local IT department/digital team, CIO or CCIO. We are working closely with them on the implementation. We also have an online network with over 850 members where you can connect with us and share your views or questions. Email us to receive an invitation to join the network.

Who is part of the HIE?

All hospital trusts, GPs, social care, mental health, out of hours and ambulance trusts in the North East and North Cumbria. We cover the 3.6m population of the region. It includes the following organisations:
Health trusts:
  • South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne And Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cumbria Integrated Care Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tees, Esk And Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Local authorities:

  • Cumbria County Council
  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Durham County Council
  • Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Hartlepool Borough Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • Newcastle upon Tyne City Council
  • North Tyneside Local Authority
  • Northumberland County Council
  • South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Stockton on Tees Borough Council
  • Sunderland City Council
  • Redcar and Cleveland Council
Clinical commissioning groups (representing GPs in their areas)
  • Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  • South Tees CCG
  • North Tyneside CCG
  • Northumberland CCG
  • Sunderland CCG
  • Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees / Darlington CCG
  • South Tyneside CCG
  • North Durham/Durham Dales Easington Sedgefield CCG
  • Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  • North Cumbria CCG
Out of hours providers
  • Gatdoc
  • Vocare
  • ELM Alliance

How the HIE fits into the Great North Care Record strategy

The HIE is one of three modules, or components of the Great North Care Record:
  • HIE – to support direct care and allow health and care professionals access to the right information at the right time.
  • Patient Engagement Platform which will initially allow individuals to receive communications from the health and care system, set their data sharing preferences and view their appointments.
  • A population health management system which allows us to use insights from the data captured to better plan services and improve outcomes for patients.