One record to improve health and care in the Black Country and West Birmingham
People living in the Black Country and West Birmingham will soon get even better and safer care and treatment, thanks to the introduction of joined-up health and care records.
One Health and Care is a new NHS shared care record launching later in the Spring, which will bring together all the separate records held by different local providers of health and social care – such as hospitals and GPs – in one secure, easy to read format.
This will give authorised professionals who are directly responsible for a person’s care, a more complete view of the care and treatment they have had across all health and care services.
It will mean, for instance, that a doctor in a hospital or a paramedic responding to a 999 call, will be able to access the same information as the person’s GP – such as details of allergies and current medications – so they can make faster, safer decisions about their treatment.
Dr Jonathan Odum, Chief Medical Officer for Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “We know how frustrating it can be to be asked the same questions every time you see a new health or care professional. It’s also not efficient for clinicians to have to chase up patient notes from other organisations when they need them, as this can cause delays to people’s care or even see them having to go for repeat tests.
“One Health and Care will change all of this by bringing together the most up to date information held by different services. This means professionals will be able to make fully informed decisions that will allow the best possible service to be given to patients and service users.
“As a hospital doctor myself, the benefits of this are very clear – especially for colleagues working in emergency situations, when having all the information to hand could make a real difference when it comes to making the right decisions for someone who may be too unwell to answer important questions.”
As well as key medical information such as existing conditions, medications and test results, One Health and Care will also flag any additional needs a person has, such as difficulty with communication, and provide details of any other professionals involved in a person’s care.
Crucially, the record will be highly secure. It will only be viewable through existing clinical systems, meaning records will only be visible to authorised users directly responsible for a person’s care, and there will be a clear record of who has accessed information, and when.
Mike Hastings, Digital Lead for the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System, said: “The NHS and our public sector partners take the safety of people’s data very seriously and we are bound by strict laws and codes of conduct. Information in One Health and Care will be treated exactly like the information held in any hospital or GP system, meaning it will never be made public, used for advertising, or sold.
“This exciting project is all about providing safe, efficient, joined-up care and ensuring that professionals get the same view of their patients’ information no matter where in the Black Country and West Birmingham they are caring for them.”
One Health and Care is already up and running in the neighbouring counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire, and there are plans to link up with the wider West Midlands in the future, in case local people need to access care outside the area where they live.
A public engagement campaign about One Health and Care is currently under way, to give people an opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts, as well as explain how to object if people would prefer their records not be included in One Health and Care.
The next online information session, led by local GPs and project leads, will take place on Tuesday 25 January, from 10.30am to 12pm. For information on how to join the session, as well as more details about One Health and Care, its benefits, and how the NHS keeps your data safe, please visit www.one-health-care.net