Posted on Friday 26 February 2016
Joining up patient care in Southwark and Lambeth
Guy’s and St Thomas’ and other NHS organisations in Southwark and Lambeth have joined forces to improve patient care by sharing electronic patient records through a new secure system.
The Local Care Record allows GPs, hospital and community healthcare staff to see important information about a patient at the touch of a button before making any decisions about their treatment.
Patient records are already shared between local NHS organisations via traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email, but these can sometimes be slow.
Now doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals at Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts and local GP practices can view each other’s patient records quickly and securely.
Patient care will be improved because clinicians will be able to see information such as test results, medication and previous treatments to help them make any physical and mental health treatment decisions.
The Local Care Record is accessed through existing patient IT systems and so does not require a new or separate database.
It aims to reduce the number of repeat GP and hospital appointments, duplicate tests for patients, and out-of-date administrative processes such as faxing. It will not only improve patients’ experience of their care but also save NHS time and money.
The Local Care Record was initially piloted at the Hetherington Group Practice in Clapham and is now being rolled out across the majority of GP practices in Lambeth and Southwark.
Dr Cormac Breen, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Guy's and St Thomas', says: “This is a major step forward in how the local NHS shares information to improve care for local people. We will be able to make decisions based on a fuller and more up-to-date understanding of all the physical and mental healthcare needs of our patients, wherever they are. It will not only improve patient safety but also improve people’s experience of using the NHS by removing unnecessary duplication.”
The Local Care Record has been developed with input from local patient groups as part of the Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care partnership. For further information, including updates on where it has gone live, please visit www.kingshealthpartners.org/localcarerecord.