An innovative scheme to permit health and care professionals to share information will help save the lives of the vulnerable and frail by avoiding delays and the risk of confusion.
Described as a ‘game changer’ in its approach to meeting the needs of vulnerable, older and frail people, the Cheshire Integrated Digital Care Record is a partnership project involving Cheshire East Council, health trusts and clinical commissioning groups across the County.
It will enable health and care professionals to take more timely and appropriate actions when dealing with a resident or patient who is new to them.
The new system will integrate health and social care records without compromising confidentiality and data protection.
It will ensure the speedier sharing of information between GPs and hospital consultants, with vital information including social care needs also available.
As an example, it would mean that an accident and emergency consultant at Leighton Hospital could be able to view the GP and social care record of an older person who had suffered a fall and who, unknown to them, may also be suffering dementia.
Valuable time could be saved by having immediate access to medical records, medication or care plans.
The new scheme is funded through all partner agencies including a grant of over £1m from NHS England and incorporates the Council’s health care partners:
· NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG
· NHS South Cheshire CCG
· NHS Vale Royal CCG
· Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
· East Cheshire NHS Trust
· The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
· Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Cheshire West and Chester Council, the West Cheshire CCG and the Countess of Chester Hospital are also involved in the new digital record policy, ensuring a consistent approach across Cheshire.
Lorraine Butcher, Cheshire East Council’s Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning said: “Putting residents first by mobilising care and support services around them and in response to their needs is how the Council and its partners will help people to live well and for longer.
“It is an opportunity to affect a real step-change in how we and our partners can work better together to ensure the needs of all our residents and patients are met more quickly.”
Tracy Bullock, Chief Executive of Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust said:
“I am very pleased that we are a part of this essential and exciting project, as it will lead to real improvements in the quality and safety of care that we are able to provide to our patients”
The Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust John Wilbraham said: “As a combined hospital and community trust with staff providing care in a wide range of environments, we fully appreciate how vital integrated health and care records are.
“As a result, I wholeheartedly welcome this project and we look forward to working with Cheshire East Council and our other local partners to help the new system further increase the quality and efficiency of the care we deliver to our patients.”