NHS and social care - an important step forward in the development of shared records

Assocation of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday March 3 2008
Embargo: Immediate

Four parts of the country have been chosen as pilots to help implement links between their social care systems and the NHS health care records, according to David Johnstone, chair of the ADASS Standards and Performance Network.

These initial pilots will test how to link up social care record systems with the NHSs Personal Demographics Service, helping to ensure that both services are talking about the same patient. The move will also be an important step towards users and patient only having to tell their story once, and not having to repeat information about themselves to several professionals.

The four areas are:

  • Cheshire County Council
  • London Borough of Greenwich
  • Slough Borough Council
  • Torbay Care Trust.

The early adopters will need to demonstrate compliance with the information governance requirements for the NHS Care Records Service, as set out in the NHS Care Record Guarantee, to implement links between their social care systems and the NHS Personal Demographics Service.

They will work with their social care systems supplier and local health partners to ensure that the work complies with the NHS Care Record Guarantee regarding confidentiality of patient information.

According to David Johnstone, the aim of the scheme is to link social care systems to the NHS Care Records Service in a controlled way, working with a small number of first of type sites, to enable full evaluation prior to a wider roll-out. The links, once thoroughly tested and evaluated, will be available for other authorities to deploy.

The evaluation will include a rigorous assurance process and will review all aspects of suppliers' systems from planning and design, through to testing and deployment which will be completed before any further social services systems are linked to the NHS Care Records Service.

Department of Health Director General, Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships David Behan said: The importance of these projects is not about information systems, it is about giving the best possible care to people, and making sure that patients and public are able to influence  the health and social care services they receive.  Social Care has very well developed electronic care record systems, but each Local Authority has developed them in their own way.

These pilots will help us to see what needs to be done to achieve consistency between Local Authority care record systems and then how to link these systems into the NHS national care record system. The success of these projects and the shared learning they will provide will be a key milestone in integrating health and social care records."


For further information contact:
David Johnstone, Chair, ADASS Standards and Performance Network, 01392 383299
David Behan/DH Press Office,  020 7210 5221
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Officer, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755