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Mid and South Essex sets out plans for shared care record

The Essex-based integrated care system is developing a shared care record for health and social care, aiming to go live in spring 2024

Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) is rolling out a shared care record to be used across the region.

The ICS is working together with supplier Orion Health to design and build the shared record system, which will eventually cover primary care, community, social care and secondary care.

The main priority is to use the record to improve care for patients with complex health issues, who often receive care from multiple organisations, which aren’t necessarily communicating well with each other, as patient information is held in silos.

The shared care record will take data feeds from the different IT systems used in the organisations and present them to clinicians and care professionals through a portal, giving them a full history of the person in front of them.

Paul Scott, CEO of Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which provides community services, said: “I am delighted that we are working to develop a new shared care record across the Mid and South Essex area, which will further enhance the way in which health and care professionals access crucial clinical information, resulting in continued improvements to the care that we can offer and freeing clinical time to spend with patients and those who use our services.”

The ICS already has a basic shared care record in place, but it was developed by a neighbouring ICS, and is not tailored specifically to the needs of Mid and South Essex. It is also planning on rolling out a patient-held record system, as well as a data and analytics platform, as part of its digital strategy.

Peter Fairley, director for strategy and health integration at Essex County Council, said the system will support the creation of a modern and integrated health and social care system in Essex, giving staff access to the information they need at the point of care.

“That will have a positive impact on care continuity, as people move between services, and support better, faster decision making in support of the citizens we serve,” he said. 

The work on the platform is already well underway, creating data feeds for the project. In the first instance the ICS will start with GP data, before moving on to acute and community providers, as well as council data. The ICS hopes to have the platform go live in spring 2024, and is looking at options for extending it to a broader range of partners, including voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in the future. 

The Mid and South Essex ICS covers a large part of the county, and includes Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council, Thurrock Council, seven district councils, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Provide, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and 180 GP practices in the area. It also covers several independent watchdog bodies and community voluntary services. 

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