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Two further regions join care record exemplar programme

Yorkshire and Humber and Thames Valley have been chosen by NHS England to join the three other care record exemplars, each receiving up to £7.5m to speed up delivery of integrated health and care

NHS England has chosen Thames Valley and Yorkshire and Humber as the latest Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LCHREs).

The two areas will join three other LCHREs in receiving up to £7.5m in national investment over two years, which they must individually match.

In May 2018, Greater Manchester, Wessex and One London were successful in their bids for the national investment in shared health records. At the time, NHS England’s CIO, Will Smart said they had been “very impressed with the standard of bids” and were continuing to evaluate the remaining areas to see which two further areas were ready to “join the initial group this year”.  

Adding Yorkshire and Humber and Thames Valley to the mix, means that the LCHRE areas now cover 40% of the population in England.  

Ahead of the bids, CIO of Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cindy Fedell, told Computer Weekly that with the bids requiring a certain population size, organisations across Yorkshire and Humber had to come together as a larger group, which encourages collaboration.

“It’s almost like a proof of concept that can then be grown across counties; they’re looking for places where they’re using open standards and can link up systems, and this is why they’re asking for a bigger population,” she said. 

Only those recognised as being leaders in the field were invited to bid for the funding. The regions that have not been invited to bid, or weren’t chosen as the lucky few, will be expected to replicate what those who received funding are doing.

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Simon Eccles, chief clinical information office for health and care, said the LCHREs will ensure staff can access information about the person in their care “so they can determine the right action as quickly as possible, whether that is urgent tests or a referral to a specialist”.

“At the moment, in many local areas GPs and other care professionals are often not able to access crucial patient information quickly if it is held in another part of the health service sometimes having to rely on post or fax instead,” he said.

Each of the five LCHREs are made up of one or several Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), and the aim is for the new partnerships to be “trailblazers for transformation,” according to Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director of operations and information.

“In the NHS’s 70th year, the local health and care record programme will take the NHS to a world-leading position in using information technology to join up services, reduce errors, speed the adoption of new innovations and give patients control over their own care,” he said.

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