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Mind the gap: London Borough pioneers data sharing to join up health and social care services

Residents in the London Borough of Islington are benefiting from the first live information sharing project of its kind aimed at improving joined up working between NHS and social care services.

Integration benefits

Islington Council and The Whittington Hospital have enabled professionals from across health and social care to share patient discharge information electronically for the benefit of patients. Improvements in the exchange of information about proposed discharge dates and a patient’s particular needs can help to reduce delayed discharges from acute settings into the community. In Islington, discharge notices are exchanged securely between the Whittington’s Medway electronic patient record system (PAS) from System C, and Islington Council’s Liquidlogic social care case management system. Liquidlogic and System C are both part of the same IT group, System C Healthcare.

How does it work?

Social care teams at Islington Council receive an average of 68 automated alerts from the Medway EPR direct into their Liquidlogic case management system per week. This flags that a vulnerable adult in the Whittington’s care is about to be discharged from hospital, and enables services and support to be put into place at the point of the patient’s discharge.

Outcome: This helps to meet one of the ten ‘Universal Capabilities’ in the Local Digital Roadmaps that NHS England and the Local Government Association are encouraging Health and Social Care to meet - namely that “Social Care receive timely electronic Assessment, Discharge and Withdrawal notice from Acute Care.”

Michael Woolcott, ICT Transition Manager at the London Borough of Islington Council comments:“Islington is dedicated to improving all aspects of joint working with health agencies and this software facilitates that a great deal. Both the team here and at Liquidlogic have demonstrated total commitment to the Project from day one and we are delighted to be the first local Authority to pass testing and put it into our live system.”

David Grigsby, Director of Liquidlogic says: “Our focus at Liquidlogic and System C is to work together to support our customers fully in the integration of services across health and social care. We are delighted to have helped implement a ground-breaking project which delivers such huge benefits for everyone involved, both in terms of service efficiency and improvements care.”

This is a very important and concrete example of how IT can be used to transform service delivery for the direct benefit of patients. The automatic transmission of patient information makes it so much easier to ensure that vulnerable patients are discharged seamlessly into the community, with the right levels of support in place to meet their particular needs.

Glenn Winteringham, Director of IM&T at The Whittington Hospital