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National Record Locator

What is the National Record Locator?

NHS England’s National Record Locator (NRL) enables health and social care teams to access patient information from outside of their area, for example if a person is away from home on holiday or if an Ambulance Trust covers a large area over multiple ICBs.

It is typically used to access key documents like end-of-life plans or ReSPECT forms. Graphnet has recently been accredited to operate with the NRL, enabling documents held in Graphnet Shared Care to be accessible by organisations who do not necessarily use Graphnet. This can extend access and avoid the need for costly and complex interfaces with 3rd party systems.

The Graphnet Solution

Graphnet’s Shared Care solution can be configured to automatically notify the NRL when selected document types, for example ReSPECT plans, are generated, enabling care teams to view patient information. This functionality fills gaps in information which can occur because of geographical or technical limitations.

Why Graphnet's Shared Care NRL?

The NRL gives access to parts of a patient record for organisations for whom it may not be appropriate or practical for them to have full access. This saves time and money, both for the ICB who manage Graphnet Shared Care and the organisation seeking access. For example, Ambulance Trusts often span multiple ICBs and shared care records. They can use the NRL to access End of Life plans and ReSPECT forms, eliminating the need to interface to multiple shared care records. This is beneficial for the professionals managing those systems and for patients. It provides:

  • Access to crucial information for those working in out of hours services, who may not otherwise have sight of an individual’s support requirements.
  • Availability of a patient’s information to care teams, even if they have been admitted in another
    part of the country.
  • Reassurance for patients who are not required to repeat their clinical history to new teams.
  • Time and cost savings for health and social care teams in ensuring that patients can be directed towards the appropriate services sooner.

How does the NRL work?



The Graphnet Shared Care NRL link does not require documents to be exported, simply a link is provided to view the document at source, ensuring that security protocols are adhered to. In addition to this, the NRL is alerted to any updates in documents, meaning that only the latest and most accurate content can be viewed.

Any removal of a document within Graphnet will be mirrored in the NRL and all calls to Graphnet from the NRL are recorded, ensuring a full chronology of access and activity is available.

The Graphnet Shared Care/NRL integration supports creation of pointers for ReSPECT, End of Life and Contingency plans, though with development any document within Graphnet Shared Care has potential to be configured to link to the NRL in this way.

NRL integration requires the patient to have been traced, therefore use of the PDS FHIR API trace service within Graphnet Shared Care is a nationally mandated pre-requisite of this capability.

Graphnet's NRL link provides a vital and sometimes missing piece of the jigsaw for care teams, taking away the onus from the patient in providing vital information. Supporting care teams to access crucial patient data, regardless of location, ensures the treatment provided is aligned with a patient’s wishes and needs.

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