What do health and care professionals think about accessing the Great North Care Record?

GNCR_jigsaw_imageSince March 2020 we have changed the way that patient records are shared across the North East and North Cumbria.

We began sharing GP records when the Health Information Exchange first went live in March. Since then, we have added data from NHS trusts from around the region. We have exceeded previous views of GP records and are upwards of 200K views each month with over 5K unique users. These figures are growing month on month as more frontline staff can access more data.

We talk to Dr Claire McDonald who is a consultant geriatrician and is one of two chief clinical information officers at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

“One of the best things about accessing the HIE has been able to see crew reports from the ambulance trust. Particularly for the patients I treat, some of whom have cognitive challenges – being able to see what the crews have recorded has been invaluable. This is especially the case if we don’t have relatives or carers to speak to when the patient is admitted.

“We can also see information from our neighbouring trusts which again is very useful, particularly from Newcastle Hospitals as we often have patients who have been referred over there. It means I can see what’s happened to them and helps us to offer more joined up care between the two trusts.

“I am also able to view mental health information from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and hospital data from Sunderland, plus the patient’s GP record which is very useful so I can see what medication they have been prescribed.”

Claire’s trust will soon begin sharing information on the Great North Care Record. They are taking a staged approached and will be sharing patient demographics, radiology reports, cellular pathology and microbiology results in the first phase. This will be followed later with laboratory results, correspondence, appointments, visits and encounters.

Dr Kevin Joisce, a consultant in emergency medicine and also a chief clinical information officer based at Sunderland Royal Hospital said: “Accessing the Great North Care Record has proved invaluable in emergency care because we can quickly find out about their past medication, investigations and treatment plans.”

Work with all local authorities across the region is going on to help staff in adult social care access and share information. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a view only access to the HIE has been developed. This gives professionals working for Newcastle, Gateshead and Durham local authorities a view of vital information.

Steph Downey, service director adult social care at Gateshead Borough Council said: “This is the first step for our staff to be able to access the Great North Care Record. Being able to access medical data, instead of spending a huge amount of time ringing around and trying to find out what’s happened to the people we care for will bring significant benefits for practitioners, but more importantly residents of the Gateshead borough.

“It can be very frustrating for our clients when we can’t access information, or there are delays to care, or repeated conversations. Being able to access the Great North Care Record will help this enormously.”

Sunderland City Council is the first local authority in the region to begin sharing and viewing early next year, and as new data flows are being agreed between all organisations in the region – they will be the first to be able to access to support all direct care – rather than for just COVID-19 purposes.

Dr Mark Westwood, a GP and chief clinical information officer at North Tyneside CCG said: “The inclusion of more patient information into the Great North Care Record is a significant benefit, particularly to community nursing teams who are caring for patients who have been discharged from hospital. Especially so in out of hours, it means that nurses can access real time information about a patient’s recent activity.”

“Having access to more information about the patients we care for, means we can have better conversations with our patients, rather than just getting them to repeat the same information over and again.”

Comments for this story

  • Comment by Paul @ 1st December 202010:01 am

    This is really great to see some of the real world benefits to health and care professionals, as well as the patients and service users they support. It’s also encouraging the HIE is continuing to expand across the ICS. I’d be really interested to hear more on the ambitions of the GNCR on full coverage of NHS Trusts and GP Practices across the region?

    • Comment by kcommon @ 1st December 202010:32 am

      Hi Paul
      We have made great progress over the last 9 months since HIE went live. We have full coverage of GPs across the North East and North Cumbria. We are about half way with the trusts, mainly in the north of the patch are connected and we are working closely with the remaining trusts to get them connected too. Some of the dates are slipping with COVID pressures and general IT project delays as you would expect. Currently it looks like we should have the remaining trusts on in the early part of 2021.

  • Comment by Andrew Thompson @ 17th February 20219:22 pm

    Fantastic work I’m so glad that so many the ideas and so much of the effort by so many forward thinking people over the years have all been turned into reality for clinicians and patients. This is through the efforts of the team and support from clinicians and patients across the North. Well done everybody!

  • Comment by what is tadalafil @ 16th April 20213:28 pm

    This comment is awaiting approval. All comments must be accepted by a moderator.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>