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NHS Stockport deploys new End of Life solution

27th November 2014

NHS Stockport CCG has gone live with a new solution to co-ordinate the delivery of services and support to patients with palliative care needs.

Stockport’s end of life solution, known locally as Stockport EPAC (End of Life Portal for Anticipatory Care), is being used by care providers working in NHS organisations, social services, and in community-based teams across Stockport 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  These providers of care can access key information to enable them to work together and provide joined up services to patients nearing the end of their life. 

It means that all the agencies involved in a patient’s care know that patient’s personal care preferences. This is in line with the NHS mandate to give the highest standards of care for people at the end of their lives.

Stockport EPAC has been developed as a clinical extension to the Stockport Health Record, a cross-community electronic shared care record built with Graphnet’s CareCentric software.  The Stockport Health Record holds data on 363,000 patients in 7.5m documents which it pulls from GP practices and acute systems across the area.  

Paul Fleming, associate director of IM&T at NHS Stockport, said the CCG was particularly keen to integrate multi-disciplinary teams, and to adopt a solution which allowed support and input from all areas of the health and social care services. 

“Because we are using the Stockport Health Record as a foundation, it means that much of the data we need to collect and share is automatically updated in real –time. There is no need for double entry.  Users across the health and care economy will have immediate access to both the end of life system and the wider health record,“ he said.

The Stockport Health Record and its EPAC application use the Graphnet CareCentric platform and Graphnet’s End of Life solution respectively to integrate the required data and to drive co-ordinated data collection and recording of vital palliative care information. 

Providers with access to the record include general practice, acute and community professionals across Stockport, including specialist palliative care services, mental health Trusts, out of hours providers, and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The local hospice and community pharmacists are next to be integrated.    

“We have to make sure that the patient’s wishes are clear and accessible to everyone when and where they are needed - without the need for the patient to repeat sensitive information or care staff to duplicate data entry,” Mr Fleming explained.

The solution fully interacts with primary care systems and automatically pulls through key clinical data such as demographics, current medications, allergies and adverse drug reactions from GP systems. 

For Stockport, a key feature of Graphnet’s End of Life solution is that it can be embedded in existing systems. This allows health and social care users to access relevant information within patient context directly from their own computer records. Single sign-on means they avoid having to log in twice.

A major benefit of the solution is to improve patients’ experience of end of life care.  However, the CCG is also looking to reduce unnecessary or inappropriate hospital admissions, with reductions in unscheduled care due to better communication between providers. 

Independent studies elsewhere have calculated that savings could amount to £2,100 per person[1]. 

 Brian Waters, chief executive of Graphnet, said the company was delighted to have worked with NHS Stockport on the project. 

 “Stockport EPAC is an excellent example of how shared records and care plan management across multiple care settings can be combined to provide real benefits to patients and service delivery”, he said.   

[1] Personalised Health and Care 2020. Using Data and Technology to Transform Outcomes for Patients and Citizens. National Information Board. November 2014

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