Health and care organisations across Surrey have been working closely together on developing the Surrey Care Record so patients benefit from improved record sharing.

Led by the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, the Surrey Care Record is a local, digital shared record which allows the secure sharing of your health and care data between authorised health and care professionals to improve care. The new shared care record is going live from this month.

Dr Andy Sharpe who is the Surrey Heartlands Chief Clinical Information Officer and a GP in Epsom explains more: “A care record which can be shared by the right health and care professionals means patients don’t have to repeat their story several times as up-to-date information about your care is available for them to see. This is particularly important if you are taken seriously ill or in an accident and unable to describe your medical history. As a GP it means I have easy and quick access to information about a patient’s recent stay in hospital for example. It also means decisions can be taken more quickly leading to improved and more coordinated care between different organisations.”

Recent legislation allows the sharing of information for direct patient care although patients are able to object to their data being shared. Anyone wishing to object should contact their GP Practice; their GP would then discuss the risks in not sharing data with other health and care professionals involved in their care.

In practice the Surrey Care Record will improve the sharing of information such as tests and results (preventing duplicate tests and unnecessary appointments), improve knowledge of allergies and medications by care providers, and reduce the risk of errors or misinformation.

Dr Sharpe continues: “This is a much more secure and efficient way of sharing your information, compared to existing methods of communicating between organisations. Our new digital platform will also allow us to join the wider Thames Valley care record which means information can be shared across a much larger area. That will help if people fall ill or have an accident away from home; this is particularly important as we know that up to 20% of people attending A&E departments come from outside the local area.”

Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, added: “The Surrey Care Record is another example of how joining up health and social care in Surrey, and harnessing new technology to make that possible, will help us provide more effective services to our residents enabling them to lead healthy and independent lives for as long as possible.

“Sharing relevant information in a secure and appropriate way will mean that our residents won’t have to keep repeating their history and our care staff will save time chasing key details and will have at their fingertips the most up-to-date and accurate picture so they can plan the best possible care and support.”

From this month Surrey GPs, adult social care and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be sharing information into the record with other local hospital clinicians able to view the data. Over the coming months we will gradually build up the record with more hospitals, the local mental health trust and community pharmacies contributing data.

For more information on the Surrey Care Record see: https://www.surreyheartlands.uk/our-priorities/enablers/digital/surreycarerecord/

For more information on the Thames Valley partnership see: https://www.thamesvalleysurreycarerecords.net/

Right to object: everyone has the right to object to the sharing of their data via the Surrey Care Record if they wish. If someone wishes to object, they should contact their GP practice and any other organisations involved in their care to make their objection known.