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New initiative to join up care services across Berkshire

3rd March 2016

Seventeen health and social care organisations across Berkshire are to start sharing the care records of 855,000 residents as part of an ambitious initiative to join up services across the county and enhance patient care.

Berkshire East and Berkshire West today announced that they had selected Graphnet’s CareCentric shared record software as the backbone to the initiative, known locally as Connected Care.

Connected Care, powered by Graphnet’s software, will link 102 GP practices, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, South Central Ambulance Service and six local authorities.

Connected Care is one of the UK’s largest care record projects to date, and the Graphnet software will be used by up to 12,000 health and care professionals in Berkshire. 

As well as combining information held in different IT systems across the county, the shared record will allow care professionals to create and update care plans, creating co-ordinated multi-agency care for individual patients and enabling new ways of delivering services.

Nigel Foster, Finance Director for the Berkshire East Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Programme Board lead for the Connected Care project in Berkshire East, said: “Being able to collaborate in real-time with colleagues, all of us having access to the same information, is going to be transformational.  We are looking to this project to help us make speedy, informed decisions, deliver more co-ordinated services and ultimately lead to improved clinical effectiveness.”

Lois Lere, Operations Director for Wokingham CCG and Programme Board lead for the Connected Care project in Berkshire West, commented: “Local people tell us that they want to see services working together better and that they only want to have to tell their story once. Connected Care is the first step on our journey towards ensuring that all care records are digital, real-time and interoperable.”

The Graphnet solution applies high standards of data-security and confidentiality. Care records are surfaced based on defined system user roles and users require the individual’s consent before a record is accessed.

The project includes providing Berkshire residents with Graphnet’s CareCentric patient portal, giving them access to their own information from a single log-in and actively involving them in managing their care.  The procurement was led by NHS South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), acting on behalf of the CCGs, and involved over 70 representatives from the 17 organisations, all of them future users of the record. 

“Gathering user requirements and gaining consensus from such a broad and diverse group was quite an undertaking, but we now have a system design that will serve the needs of each organisation and every patient. We’re now looking forward to working with Graphnet to turn that vision into reality.” said Andrew Fenton, CSU Programme Director. 

Markus Bolton, director of Graphnet, said the company was pleased to be involved in a project with such high levels of engagement and commitment.

“We are sure that large footprint shared care records of this type are vital in supporting wide-scale transformation programmes and provide the foundation for future health and social care integration projects.

“We are delighted that Berkshire chose Graphnet and CareCentric as its county-wide record.”