Greater Manchester

Accelerating the GM Care Record

The GM Care Record provides clinicians with access to vital patient information to inform care and treatment, as well as informing research studies and developments in response to COVID-19

The GM Care Record has become a major digital asset with significant potential to support programmes to tackle health inequalities and transform care. We are now taking the GM Care Record beyond the basic ability to share information, to supporting innovation, research and the transformation of care and citizen outcomes.

As part of the COVID-19 response, it was vital to accelerate work already underway to deploy a single joined-up record for all citizens in Greater Manchester to ensure no matter where patients were being treated, clinicians had the information they needed to support better decision making. Until recently, this information was held locally in existing borough-based care records and not shared across locality boundaries. Instead, the system relied on patients repeating their medical history to each professional they encountered within the health and care system creating risk and inefficiencies.

Rapid progress to rollout the GM Care Record was made in weeks rather than months at the start of the pandemic. In total, 3.1 million patient records from 443 GP practices in GM and data feeds from all mental health NHS Trusts and all NHS acute trusts are now flowing into the GM Care Record.  It is now being accessed by around 10,000 distinct users each month, a 103% increase in use since March 2020. The platform will be moving to the cloud environment in 2021 to support unlock new capabilities and support continued enhancement and development.

As well as informing care and treatment on the frontline, the care record is now being used to support the transformation of care pathways through new use case development, including COVID-19 virtual wards, heart failure, and dementia and frailty. These use cases are overseen by a GM-wide clinical reference group to ensure maximum clinical and patient benefits are realised.  A development roadmap for new use cases and further enhancing data feeds and access is being agreed with system partners for the next 12 months.

We have also formed a close collaboration between the GM clinical-academic community, health and care partners and citizens to identify a suite of COVID-19 research studies that could be undertaken using de-identified data from the record.  These studies go through a rigorous review process and there are now 25 studies underway or in the pipeline.  Further developments are also underway to make use of the data to inform service development and redesign to meet the specific needs of citizens and support population health management.

All of this activity to support both direct care and research has been underpinned by collaborative engagement and strong governance across GM data controllers, providers, commissioners, and central GM bodies.

Karen James OBE, Chief Executive, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust: “The GMCR has a direct impact on the quality and precision of care we are able to provide patients, particularly those with complex needs across multiple specialties. Sharing this information has never been more important as it greatly aids clinical decision making and will reduce the burden on both patients and clinicians.”

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