Durham County Council has begun to use the Great North Care Record (GNCR) for adult social care staff to share selected information on individuals.
It becomes the second local authority in its region, after Sunderland City Council, to begin using the digital platform.
Staff at three other councils – Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead – are all able to view data on the shared record, and more organisations are reportedly set to follow.
Every health trust, out of hours provider and clinical commissioning group in the region, as well as the North East Ambulance Service, is now connected to the GNCR.
Dr Phil Stamp, emergency medicine consultant at Northumbria Healthcare Trust and the regional clinical safety officer for the GNCR, said: “An increase in local authority information within the region’s shared care record means that health and care staff will, with appropriate safeguards, be provided with a greater depth of understanding of the needs of their patients, citizens or clients.
“Local authority information in particular is very valuable as it contains a record of caring needs and details which helps support the care of the some of the most vulnerable among us, so the addition of Durham County Council’s information is a great step towards better integrated care across the region.”
Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “It is important to us that our residents have a positive experience of health and care services and the sharing of information through the Great North Care Record will help us to achieve this.
“Ensuring that we are sharing key critical information safely and appropriately about the people in our care will help to inform clinical decision making and, ultimately, have a positive impact on the quality of care that our clients receive.
“It will also support health and social care staff in other sectors across the region. This partnership approach is key to connecting health and care services, meeting the needs of those who live in County Durham and helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing.”
The GNCR covers around 3.2 million people in North East and North Cumbria. In September of last year North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust added children’s community services to the records available.