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Sutton introduces a borough-wide shared record system

24th June 2016

The London Borough of Sutton and NHS Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have gone live with a CareCentric record solution, initially linking information shared between the council’s social services teams with GPs and Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Following the successful go-live, the Sutton Integrated Digital Care Record (IDCR) is now being rolled out more widely, including across community, mental health and GP out-of-hours services. Other near-term plans include completing the deployment of one-click single sign-on access to the record from other health systems, and integrating acute, community and mental health services into the system. 

Staff have already been very positive about the impact of shared records and what it means to them in terms of treating patients. Dr Amir Hassan, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals, cited an example of when he was able to better support a patient who had presented at the weekend with an overdose. Using the Sutton IDCR he was able to identify the medications the patient could have overdosed on to inform the clinical plan, give antidotes and ensure the patient’s safety. He was also able to identify unusual symptoms and signs. Time was also saved as additional toxicology screens and searching toxicology databases were not necessary.

“We see real benefits in helping providers within health and social care share information effectively,” said Sian Hopkinson, Director of Performance and Primary Care at Sutton CCG.  “The vision is all about improving patient care, reducing the administrative burden on frontline staff, cutting emergency admissions and enabling the integration of care around the person being treated.”

Unusually, the CCG and council have commissioned external research as part of a clearly-defined benefits analysis programme. The Sutton baseline analysis suggests that GP surgeries each spend more than five hours a week responding to information requests from other parts of the care service.  Trust staff spend seven hours a week finding primary care information, 10 hours a week finding social care information and three hours a week finding community services information. 

The organisations involved are also looking to speed up hospital discharges – their findings suggest a lack of relevant information can lead to delays in treatment or hospital discharge by up to a full day.  This echoes findings from the Hampshire Health Record, a similar project joining 167 health and social care organisations across Hampshire.

A significant number of Trust pharmacists also felt that medication reconciliation contributed to delays in clinical decisions for patients while admitted. The new shared care record deals with this problem.

The Sutton care record is using the same instance of Graphnet’s CareCentric software as neighbouring Kingston, where the CCG’s Your Healthcare community interest company operates a shared record system known locally as the Kingston Health Passport.

Brian Waters, chief executive of Graphnet, said: “Graphnet is rolling out shared records across the country now and we are always pleased to hear great user and patient stories from our deployments. 

“Sutton’s benefits programme is detailed and particularly impressive and we will look to support this work and share the outcomes across our user base.”

Other care communities using CareCentric to integrate health and social care and devise new models of care include Berkshire and Manchester. 

In Berkshire, 17 health and social care organisations are using CareCentric to share the records of 855,000 residents across the county. This is one of the largest shared record projects to date.   

In Manchester, three CCGs and Manchester City Council are using Graphnet’s software to share records and create care plans for patients with long term conditions.