More than 100 people from across the Thames Valley and Surrey health and care systems attended a workshop to discuss the new ‘Local Health and Care Record Exemplar’ (LHCRE) status awarded to the area together with £7.5 million national funding over two years. Thames Valley and Surrey has been selected as one of five LHCRE areas across England. 

The NHS Five Year Forward View set out that the traditional divide between hospitals, primary care, community-based care and social care is increasingly a barrier to providing personalised and joined up services to people. On the subject of technology it emphasises that nationally we should focus on the systems that provide the ‘electronic glue’ that enable different parts of the health and care service to work more effectively together.

The aim of the Local Health and Care Record programme is to build a regional information sharing system that helps our health and care services to ensure that care is tailored to the needs of each individual. LHCRE programmes will “raise the bar” in how the NHS, and its partners, share information safely and securely to help deliver better care for people.

Thames Valley and Surrey will receive targeted investment to deliver integrated health and care services across the area. National capital funding of up to £7.5m will be made available for 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.

Dr Simon Eccles, NHS England’s Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care, said: “These new local systems will ensure appropriate staff can access information from patient histories to previous test results and care plans that will not only improve the individual care we are able to offer but in some instances could save lives.”

The Thames Valley and Surrey partnership will give health and care staff better and faster access to vital information about the person in their care, so they can determine the right action as quickly as possible, whether that is urgent tests or a referral to a specialist. At the moment, in many local areas GPs and other care professionals sometimes have to rely on post or fax instead.

The launch event provided a great opportunity to discuss ideas and key issues for the development of the Local Health and Care Record Exemplar and how it will build on existing record sharing initiatives such as the Surrey Care Record.