Sharing patient records to help improve safety

Damian Parkinson.
Damian Parkinson.

A new method of sharing crucial patient information that will take the pressure off A&E departments is being rolled out across the country with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust being one of the first batch of NHS organisations to deliver the service.

The new National Record Locator Service allows a more joined-up health and care system and is being rolled out by NHS Digital.

It enables assessors, such as mental health nurses and paramedics who are called to a patient in distress, to find out whether a patient they are treating has a mental health crisis plan.

This in turn enables them to transport that patient to a more appropriate care setting than A&E or offer alternative, community-based care as indicated in their crisis plan, something that would not only improve patient safety and mental health outcomes but also reduce duplicate care costs and help staff safety.

Damian Parkinson, Director of Health Informatics at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:“This is a great project that we’re leading on in the North West and as a Trust we’re pleased to be one of the first batch of NHS organisations that are implementing the National Record Locator Service.

“The service provides frontline staff with information available at a tap of a button and is a lovely example of how technology is 
helping the NHS evolve into delivering care collaboratively.”

The next phase of development will continue integration before a full roll-out across the NHS.

Future use-cases include end of life care, child health, maternity and cancer.