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Over 400 providers of health and social care throughout the North West of London required reliable de-identified data to support commissioning and bring together patient information from these 400 sources. These organisations included GP practices, NHS providers of acute, mental health and community care and local authority providers of social care. This was an ambitious project to bring together information about patients from many sources across health and social care.
It is a fundamental requirement of the provision of integrated care, that the providers of that care have access to a common and comprehensive set of information about their shared patient.
However technical and legal obstacles (real and imagined) have made genuine and widespread information sharing hugely difficult to achieve, particularly across the perceived divide between health and social care.
Over 100 organisations have signed that information sharing agreement, and we are now assisting with the implementation of the information sharing envisaged under that agreement.
The biggest barrier is one of perception. Health and social care providers are nervous about information sharing. They have seen the negative public reaction to care.data and other initiatives, and do not wish to be on the receiving end – either of negative publicity or even financial liability if things go wrong. This needs to be managed with very careful legal safeguards over the uses of the shared data, and very clear articulation of those safeguards, and of why information sharing is so important to the success of integrated care.
There are many other obstacles to overcome for successful information sharing. These include:
More information about this project can be found here.
Primary and Acute Care Systems
Multi-speciality Community Providers
Enhanced Health in Care Homes
Urgent and Emergency Care Networks
Acute Hospital Collaborations
Accountable Care Organisations