New information for patients

Digital Care Record to benefit all patients in Cheshire

A Cheshire Care Record is to be automatically created for every patient in Cheshire in December this year, in a move to further improve patient care and enable joined up working across the county.

Back in 2016, Cheshire patients were some of the first in the country to benefit from the introduction of a new digital care record, meaning their health and social care information could be accessed across multiple agencies – therefore removing the need for patients to repeat or remember the same information more than once.

The Cheshire Care Record (CCR) is a partnership between health and social care services across the borough – including GPs, hospitals, North West Ambulance Service, specialist cancer services and social care services.  All partners are dedicated to using this technology, as it not only helps them to work better together but also helps provide an even better service for patients.

At its launch, patients were asked to ‘opt in’ to have a record created for them. Now, a record will be generated for everyone in Cheshire.

Patients do not have to do anything, however, if anyone does not want their health and care information shared between agencies they can opt out via their GP or social worker.

The CCR provides the following important benefits:

  • Better health care –by improving all aspects of patient care, including safety, effectiveness, putting the patient at the very centre of the picture, better communication, timeliness, efficiency and equity.
  • Improved efficiencies and lower health care costs by promoting preventative medicine and improved coordination of health care services, as well as by reducing waste and unnecessary or repeated tests.
  • Better clinical decision making by securely integrating patient information from multiple sources.

Dr Stephen Moore, consultant in emergency medicine and chief clinical information officer at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The detail we now have access to in the Cheshire Care Record at the touch of a button is very powerful.

“I have used it when patients have been unconscious or unable to clearly recall their medical history themselves due to pain, confusion or distress. It tells me if they have had any operations recently, if they are allergic to any medications, who their GP is, and any test results and interactions with social services or mental health services. All of this information can form an incredibly helpful picture of the patient.

“The fact that patients don’t have to remember or repeat their health history makes all the difference to their confidence in us and the system.

“It is invaluable and can save vital time in deciding how to treat the patient, especially when it comes to verifying whether they are on the correct medication and making sure we avoid prescribing anything which could cause an adverse reaction with their existing medication and treatment plans.”