Milton Keynes Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

When someone is admitted to hospital, knowledge of the patient’s health and social care history is critical to both providing appropriate care during their hospital stay and for planning their discharge into the community. This relies upon effective team working between health and social care agencies. Secure and timely sharing of quality assured information is critical to effective decision making and achieving health and social care outcomes for patients. In many local authority areas the different agencies do not use a common IT system for data and sharing relies upon legacy technologies (eg e-mail, telephone, fax) and the voluntary compliance with manual procedures (eg checklist completion).

 

Nottinghamshire County Council has developed a highly effective automated solution for sharing a patient’s local authority social care records with colleagues in health. The technology uses secure data exchange to integrate the local hospital’s patient care system with data from the council’s adult social care database. This allows acute care staff to quickly and accurately access the patient’s social care history and build a comprehensive understanding of need. This is then used to inform planning for treatment and other interventions that aid patient flow; improving both operational efficiency and patient outcomes. The aim of this project bid is to reproduce the technology and working practices developed in Nottinghamshire for the benefit of the people of Milton Keynes.

Discovery evidence

The experience of the Nottinghamshire County Council and its health partners is that the information sharing they have introduced both delivers efficiency savings for health and social care professionals and helps to achieve better outcomes for patients.

 

Following a ten week pilot, Nottinghamshire found that the data sharing service was used on average fifteen times per week, (15% of this usage was out of hours) and that 62% of queries that would otherwise be made to social workers could be resolved. This delivered a range of benefits

  • Time savings for the intervention and assessment teams based at the hospital
  • More timely patient discharge
  • Patient admissions avoided
  • Social worker time released for more complex work

 

In April 2017, when the then Department of Health commissioned the Social Care Institute for Excellence to produce a framework for a joined-up health and social care system. One of the enablers of the proposed framework is “Integrated electronic records and sharing across the system and with service users” which will help deliver “Safe and timely transfers of care across the health and social care system”. Similarly, the National Audit Office report of July 2018 “The Health And Social Care Interface “, notes in that, “Problems with sharing data across health and social care can prevent an individual’s care from being coordinated smoothly.”

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