A new NHS and social care system has been introduced in Devon and Cornwall to improve the way you receive care.
The Devon and Cornwall Care Record is a secure computer system that brings together information about your health and care and presents it as a single record.
Previously, it was difficult to share information about your health and care between different areas of the system.
Now, healthcare staff can see the details held by GP practices, hospitals and other health and care organisations across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Having a more complete view of your medical history helps healthcare professionals identify problems more effectively and make quicker diagnoses. For instance, they can see which allergies you suffer from, and any treatment and medication you have received.
As well as making treatment safer, the care you receive will be more co-ordinated, giving you a smoother journey through the health system.
It also saves staff the time it takes to find information and spares you the frustration of having to answer the same questions or undergo duplicate or unnecessary tests.
Dr John McCormick, GP and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Devon and Cornwall Care Record has the potential to transform the way we care for patients in our region.
“By enabling information to flow more easily between the organisations that provide services, we will produce a more efficient system and improve the experience for patients.
“For example, it means an oncologist treating a patient for cancer in Plymouth can see the same information as their GP in Callington.”
John Garman, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group added: “It’s a common – and justified – grumble from patients that they have to repeat their stories and answer the same questions as they move through the system.
“This programme will go a long way to solving that problem, as well as cutting down on other inefficiencies – like calling patients for tests they’ve already undergone.
“Initially, some organisations will both contribute and use data (including GP practices, acute hospitals and social care providers), while others will just use data.
“However, in time, more and more organisations will come on board, expanding the programme’s reach and impacting the care of increasing numbers of patients.”
Who is involved?
There are more than 760 health and care providers in Devon and Cornwall and, potentially, all of them can participate in the programme.
These organisations include GP practices, NHS hospitals, social care services, mental health services, hospices, community care services and out of hours services.
If you would like to know if one of your health or social care providers is participating in the programme, you can ask them directly or check the participating organisation list on the Devon and Cornwall Care Record website.
How do we keep your data safe?
Keeping your personal data safe is a key aspect of the Devon and Cornwall Care Record and all required measures are taken to keep information secure and confidential.
Shared care records are subject to UK data protection legislation. They can only be viewed by people involved in your care, and they work under strict codes of conduct.
However, if you would prefer that your information is not shared in this way, you can tell us by filling out the objection form on the data security and privacy page of the website.
Where can you find out more?
For further details, visit the Devon and Cornwall Care Record website at www.devonandcornwallcarerecord.nhs.uk