The Great North Care Record
What is the Great North Care Record?
The Great North Care Record is a new way of sharing medical information across the North East and North Cumbria which is accessed by health and social care practitioners to provide direct care for patients. It means that key information such as diagnoses, medications, details of hospitals admissions and treatments can be shared between different healthcare services including hospitals, out of hours and ambulance services.
Sharing information to support patient care is already available across the North East and North Cumbria since the introduction of the Great North Care Record. The project is exploring opening up healthcare data to more groups such as social care providers, healthcare planners, public health teams, and researchers.
Healthcare records are a rich, but untapped source of information which, in the hands of researchers could bring new insight and discoveries about treatments and diseases. This has not been achieved on a large scale before as obtaining permission from the public to use their information in this way is very difficult.
This is a challenge the Great North Care Record is seeking to overcome
Who can access the Great North Care Record?
Currently, accident and emergency departments, ambulance service, 111 services and out of hours in the North East and North Cumbria can access a read-only version of GP records for most of the 3.6million people living in the North East and North Cumbria – with their permission. Access to health information is highly protected and safely stored. Only clinicians who have the right level of clearance are able to access health information and their access is fully auditable. In the future, more services could potentially access the Great North Care Record. This is one of the areas that this research explores.
How does the Great North Care Record benefit citizens?
Historically, each organisation involved in providing care such as GPs, local hospitals, physiotherapy departments or the ambulance service has held limited information about individuals– but no one has had an overall view of someone’s medical or social care history. This is one reason why health and care practitioners often ask patients the same questions over and over, or repeat the same tests. With the Great North Care Record, the more health and social care teams will have access to detailed information to help them provide better care. This information will only be accessed with an individual’s permission.
With the Great North Care Record, these details are available securely, electronically and in real time. The ambition of the Great North Care Record is to improve information sharing between healthcare services to improve the level of care. Furthermore, by sharing information in a consent-rich, secure environment, making the region one of the best places to do research.
Controlling how your information is shared
Not everyone is comfortable with their information being shared. Currently, the public can opt out of their information being shared within the NHS. Identifiable information can only be shared with researchers with the patient’s permission. More information about the Great North Care Record is available here.