Virgin Care has launched a new system that allows health and social care professionals to securely share records of 189,000 residents to provide better community care across B&NES.
Providing the new Integrated Care Record (ICR) for the area forms a major milestone for the health and social care provider, and was one of a number of key deliverable tasks identified when Virgin Care took on health and social care services on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset CCG and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The ICR creates a single point of information for care professionals across the community, allowing them to appropriately share records and ensure those who need it get access to treatment quickly as well as improving patient flow across the area and cutting waiting times.
The ICR shares information between Virgin Care, General Practices, Bath and North East Somerset Council and the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Virgin Care is the prime provider for coordinating health and social care services across B&NES, and the new integrated care record will improve the safe and efficient delivery of services, and service users’ experience at the point of care.
Kirsty Matthews, Managing Director, Virgin Care, Bath and North East Somerset, said: “The ICR provides a fantastic opportunity to provide joined up care, giving health and social care staff across Bath and North East Somerset’s organisations appropriate timely information.
“The benefits of the ICR are already being realised, particularly during the pandemic. It provides quick, clear and easy to access headline information about a service user and it allows our colleagues to access information about other services outside of their own, which may help provide more support where needed.”
Joanna Scammell, Head of Commissioning and Wellbeing, Virgin Care, Bath and North East Somerset, added: “With direct access to the ICR, it enables you to find out whether for example, someone has had a Covid-19 positive diagnosis.
“This can help professionals understand if someone they are going to visit has been tested or had a positive diagnosis so they are able to support them better, more remotely and with more information about their care.”
Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services and Health at Bath & North East Somerset Council, added: “Perhaps now more than ever it is essential care is well co-ordinated. Enabling a local GP, nurse, care provider or social worker to view the same care record, means they are in a far better position to be able to support or treat that person.
“As a result, we will be able to improve care quality and outcomes for those being treated and cared for across both health and care.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to all partners for delivering this ground-breaking collaboration.”
Dr Shanil Mantri, a GP and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG said: “The NHS, local authorities, GPs and social care providers are working together to improve health and care outcomes for local people.
“The introduction of Integrated Care records is a good example of this joint approach and will do a great deal to ensure everyone can access services quickly and efficiently without having to tell their story to different health and care professionals multiple times.
“At present, Integrated Care Records are available in Bath and North East Somerset, with a plan to extend them to Swindon and Wiltshire in the future.”