Frequently Asked Questions
It’s important we keep our partners, their staff and citizens up to date with our shared care record plans, both locally and nationally as our care records start to join up across England. Here are the most common questions, but if you can’t find the answer to your query, please contact the programme team.
What is the LHCR (E)?
A Local Health and Care Record is often referred to as LHCR or LHCRE (the E stands for exemplar for the first wave of funded programmes). It’s a group of NHS, local authority, research and education organisations working together using digital technology to share information to help continually improve health and care services and the patient and clinical experience.
Wessex Care Records is one of the first LHCR programmes to be funded. It has a regional remit while working in such a way as to ensure consistency and standardisation, so that in the future all local LHCR programmes can ‘talk’ to each other.
For further information see NHS England's summary of the Local Health and Care Record Exemplar programme and the NHS England announcement about the award to Wessex.
Doesn’t this shared information already exist?
One of the reasons Wessex Care Records was awarded funding through the LHCR programme is due to best practice that is already underway to share information in the region. CHIE has been sharing information between GPs, hospitals and community care for over 15 years and DCR has been running for two years, however these two systems are not joined up. It is recognised that there is a benefit to information flowing easily and intuitively between Dorset and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as it can provide better services. For example, citizens registered in GP practices across the historic county border (e.g. Ringwood, New Forest) will benefit from aggregated data.
What is Wessex Care Records going to do in addition to the care records already working in the region?
Wessex Care Records is going to enhance standards and interoperability between two existing care records, DCR and CHIE. This means that clinicians and healthcare professionals can continue to log into their current care record platform and retrieve information about the person easily whichever part of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight they live in, without having to log into different systems. Citizens will benefit from a seamless journey and better experience in their care.
The programme is also looking to join up related systems and services for medication records, personal health records such as maternity along with data analytics expertise and workforce development.
Is it a new database? As a clinician, will I need a new log in?
No. There will be interoperability between CHIE and DCR - information will be shared across a ‘bridge’ in an exchange function so the citizen’s information sits within their existing care record and can be retrieved easily whichever care record it is being retrieved from. There will only be one citizen record, either in DCR or CHIE.
What about the information joining up with other parts of the country, e.g. if you are ill on holiday?
One aspect of WCR is to ensure the integration and data quality is delivered using a common, consistent standard so it can be accessed the same way by other LHCRs and the National Record Locator. This will apply to across England only at this stage.
There does however need to be a clear understanding of the information governance when sharing beyond Wessex and this is an important part of the learning we are undergoing at the moment.
How much investment did the programme receive and who is paying for it?
The Wessex Care Records partnership has been awarded £7.5 million by NHSX. It is one of the first five areas in the country to get through the strict application process, the others being Thames Valley and Surrey, London, Greater Manchester, and Yorkshire and Humberside.
The investment is part of the NHSX’s mandate to drive digital transformation and join up data across population and place. Shared care records is a priority within the NHS long term plans for Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
More LHCRs are being developed, including our regional neighbours, Thames Valley and Surrey Care Records, and One South West in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
What organisations are in the partnership?
There are over 30 organisations working with Wessex Care Records, including the Integrated Care System for Dorset (known as Our Dorset) and the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Education, research, science and the voluntary / charity sector are also involved.
How is the partnership managed?
Wessex Care Records has a Programme Management Office managed by our Programme Director (PD), Astrid Fairclough, and four regional governance groups oversee the strategic and operational objectives and milestones.
Steering Group (SG) – represents all parties across Wessex and is responsible and accountable for providing strategic direction, and driving the programme forward to the benefit of both clinicians and citizens. There is a patient representative on the group.
Delivery Group (DG) – responsible and accountable for delivering project outcomes and benefits, manages operational delivery and ensures milestones are on track.
Design Authority (DA) – responsible for agreeing the requirements and the design of the technical architecture for the systems, reviewing designs, supplier proposals, project plans and the roadmaps.
Clinical Reference Group (CRG) – provides a dual role for the programme; firstly, to lead on and develop the Business Use Cases and secondly, to act as an advisory and referral route for requirements and design pieces. It is responsible for ensuring the overall design of the WCR solution is safe and legal from a clinical and multi- professional perspective.
There is also a National LHCR Programme Board which the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO), Lisa Franklin, reports to on behalf of Wessex Care Records.
To contact the SRO or PD for the programme, please contact the programme support team.
What is a shared care record?
It’s an electronic local health and care record that provides a single source of patient information pulled from different systems so that relevant information about people is available to everyone involved in their care and support.
What is Population Health Management?
Population Health Management improves population health by data-driven planning and delivery of care. It can identify patterns of health needs and risks for individuals and groups and target interventions to prevent ill-health and to improve care. This work is carried out by the Intelligent Working Programme based in Dorset and the Population Health team based in Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
Our aim is to enable these teams to benefit from each other through a Wessex centre of excellence for data analytics and the development of talent and skills in data science.
How does Wessex Care Records link to the NHS App and / or the National Record Locator?
Wessex Care Records is looking at how it can integrate with the NHS App using the NHS log-in. There is also a commitment for the shared care records to be available within the National Record Locator which is used by paramedics and mental health nurses.
How are the data sharing and information governance issues being considered?
The national LHCR programme has an Information Governance Group which has developed an IG Framework. WCR is considering the access control policy that will be needed for the Wessex LHCR to talk to other LHCRs.
How can citizens view their own record?
Patients being able to view their own record is an important part of our work. It’s one of our five priorities and we will be piloting it initially through the digital maternity system called My Maternity Record. You can currently see your Summary Care Record - ask your GP for access.
How can I keep up to date with the programme?
Visit the news section of our website or if you are a clinician or healthcare professional, please follow the links to a dedicated section.
We are also on Twitter – @WessexLHCR – or you can email the programme support team with your query.