29 Sep 2021
Thousands of patients and clinicians benefiting from the Greater Manchester Care Record to improve care and treatment and to understand the impact of COVID-19 in GM through vital research
Health and care staff are accessing vital information for more than 100,000 patients each month through the GM Care Record, helping to inform care and treatment.
The GM Care Record collates information held by different health and care organisations across Greater Manchester so that GPs, doctors, nurses and care practitioners can see up to date medical records, care plans, medications and test results in a single place to inform the right care and treatment for patients. It will be further enhanced by the sharing of relevant social care information across all localities later this year.
Development and use of GM Care Record was accelerated within weeks last year to support the city-region’s response to COVID-19 and to build on borough-based care records to create a single joined-up care record for all of GM.
It has become a major digital asset for Greater Manchester in the past 18 months and almost 11,000 frontline users access the GM Care Record each month to support the delivery and planning of care for more than 108,000 patients.
The project has been overseen by Health Innovation Manchester and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, working with GM’s devolved health and care partners, with tech company Graphnet.
Guy Lucchi, Digital Innovation Director, commented: “We have accelerated use of the GM Care Record across all providers and localities to now provide coverage for all 2.8m citizens across Greater Manchester, and we are continuing to grow and develop the record so that it provides all the vital information health and care staff need to provide safe, high quality patient care. We are also working with clinicians to develop integrated care plans across different pathways so that care can be joined up around the individual needs of patients. There is a lot more to come on this exciting programme.”
Dr Tracey Vell, Lead for Primary and Community Care at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Clinical Director at Health Innovation Manchester, said: “The GM Care Record is an important resource for Greater Manchester and we’ve had remarkable success since we accelerated the development and use during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is enhancing the way we deliver care to patients by giving clinicians quick and efficient access to the patient’s latest medical information and support them to deliver the safest and most effective care. It is also enabling us to better understand our population and their health needs so we can target resources and services and tackle some of the health challenges we face across the city region.”
As well supporting access to information for direct care, deidentified data is being used for research and planning purposes to gain a greater understanding of COVID-19, how best to tackle it and the type of services that needs to be in place. All information which could identify a person, including a name, NHS number or address, are removed before researchers can access the data.
Studies underway include: examining the risks of contracting COVID-19 for Greater Manchester patients who are being treated for cancer; evaluating why those with type 2 diabetes are of increased risk of becoming seriously unwell; and the impact of COVID-19 on those seeking help following self-harm.
A rigorous governance and review process is in place with an expert group that reviews and authorises requests for COVID-19-related research using GM Care Record data. This is the result of a close collaboration between the GM clinical-academic community, health and care partners and, crucially, citizens.
Professor Niels Peek, Professor of Health Informatics, The University of Manchester, leads the programme which enables university researchers to access deidentified patient data from the GM Care Record for COVID-19 research. He said: “The GM Care Record is unique in that it contains information about all people across the city region and provides day-to-day insights into what is happening in Greater Manchester. It is tremendously valuable to answer questions around COVID-19 and how it impacts our patients and health services. We will use that information to innovate and improve our services based on patients’ needs.”
The ability to share data through the GM Care Record is strictly governed and supported by a GM-wide approach to data protection and information sharing in accordance with national guidance, to determine in which circumstances health and care professionals and researchers can be granted access the record.
A public campaign to raise awareness of the GM Care Record and how it is making a difference to health care in GM is now underway. The campaign explains how the data is being used safely, legally and ethically as well as how members of the public can opt-out of sharing their data through the GM Care Record.
Find out more online https://gmwearebettertogether.com/