England’s newest shared care record completes the first phase of a project to share critical patient data across health and care to improve efficiency and deliver a better service for patients.

The Devon and Cornwall Care Record has gone live on the Orion Health Amadeus platform, which it has chosen to provide the infrastructure for its shared care record.

The new system went live at the start of August 2022 and is already enabling frontline staff to access key items of patient information from GP, hospital, health and social care IT systems as a single record.

Further phases of the roll-out will add additional data, so professionals working across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a more complete view of a patient’s medical history.

This will have time and improve the quality and safety of care, by reducing the amount of time that staff have to spend calling around for information and cutting the number of times that patients have to repeat their story.

Dr John McCormick, a GP, and the clinical lead for the Devon and Cornwall Care Record, said: “We are developing the record progressively, in a controlled way, so we can be confident about the quality of the data that it contains, and how to use it.

“However, it is already supporting my work as a GP. I can see what’s going on with patients now in other parts of the system. It’s also very positive for practice staff, because they don’t have to chase up letters or ring other services all the time, just to find out what is happening.”

The development of shared care records is an important strand of the government’s digital health and social care policy. NHS England asked every integrated care system to have a ‘basic’ shared care record by September last year and has developed a maturity strategy to add additional features over the next three years.

The Devon and Cornwall Care Record chose to work with Orion Health to build the foundations of its shared care record last year and is working on a phased implementation of the system.

The first phase saw two-thirds of GP practices come on board, and information sharing established with local acute trusts and mental health services. The next phase of the project will extend the record to more practices and services, including the other acute trusts across Devon and Cornwall.

Dr McCormick said: “Everybody in the NHS wants to work as efficiently and effectively as possible, and for that data is essential. We are all working to create a more integrated care system – One NHS.

“To do that, we need to share information and the shared care record is the best way to do it. My GP colleagues have been very positive about this because they can see that it delivers benefits for them and, critically, for their patients.

“The shared care record means that other parts of the system have more information about our patients and that means they can deliver better care to them. Putting the shared care record in place helps our patients in other parts of the NHS and means they can get the service they need.”

Orion Health is a leading provider of shared care records to the NHS in England, and also provides integrated care record systems to health boards in Scotland and the health and care system in Northern Ireland.

Ian Binks, Sales Director from Orion Health said: “This is a significant step to see another customer go-live with our shared care record. We would like to congratulate everybody involved with the Devon and Cornwall Care Record on the success of the first phase of the deployment.

“Now this has been achieved, we look forward to working with the Devon and Cornwall Care Record team to develop the record further, for the benefit of local health and care services, professionals, patients and citizens.”