Out-of-hours and minor injuries services across Cumbria can now view a patient’s GP record, with 80% of GPs streaming information via the Medical Interoperability Gateway.

Healthcare Gateway’s MIG allows services to see a read only view of a patient’s GP record, with the patient’s consent.

NHS Cumbria chief clinical information officer Dr William Lumb said use of the MIG had been trialed in Carlisle.

A decision to switch it on across the region was made once the milestone of 80% of GPs agreeing to make their information available was reached.

“It’s the key critical mass, it’s established a principle of record sharing into out-of-hours providers and minor injuries units,” he explained.

Seventy practices are now streaming information covering about 400,000 patients.

Dr Lumb said GP engagement had been good, considering the myriad issues they are grappling with at the moment.

He expected to have 95% of practices streaming via the gateway within three months. The next step is to start sharing information with the acute trusts.

The technology is about to go live in the A&E departments of acute trusts in the north of Cumbria and clinicians will have a live view of the record in the Lorenzo EPR at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust this week.

The ultimate aim is to have information flowing back from the acute trusts to GPs. Morecambe Bay is already using the MIG to send electronic discharges.

In the next six to nine months, community data will also be available via the MIG with Cumbria community services using EMIS Community as their EPR.

In the Carlisle pilot, the GP record was viewed by out-of-hous doctors in 6% of cases. The real time view of the record is embedded in the Adastra clinical system.

Dr Lumb said that was lower than anticipated. The expectation was that the record would be appropriate to view in 20-25% of cases. “But an awful lot of out-of-hours cases are basic and transactional,” he said.

Dr Lumb predicted usage would rise as out-of-hours clinicians get used to the idea of having a GP record available.

“The feedback is that it’s been very helpful and in certain situations it’s made a significant difference in the way a patient is managed,” he added.