Bradford District Care Trust aims to receive 95% of GP referrals to its acute mental health service electronically through an integration between SystmOne and RiO.

The trust is also planning to deploy TPP’s clinical record viewer to give acute clinicians a view of the patient’s GP record.

All but one of the GP practices in the area use TPP’s SystmOne, which is also used by the care trust’s community services. Its acute services use CSE Healthcare System’s RiO.

GPs already send electronic referrals for community mental health services, as they use the same system. But they must send paper referrals to the acute services, where information is manually keyed into RiO.

Discharge letters are also created electronically by the trust, then sent back to GPs to be scanned into SystmOne.

The trust is working with integration services provider ReStart Consulting on a project that will allow GPs to send electronic referrals directly to a single point of access.

From there, the trust will decide whether the patient should go to community services or acute.

In common with many trusts in the old Yorkshire and the Humber strategic health authority area, the trust uses InterSystems’ Ensemble as its integration engine, and ReStart for integration consultancy and services.

Bradford District Care Trust head of informatics Tony Middleton said the main objective was to make life easier for GPs and “improving their experience of using our services.”

The trust was created by the merger of a mental health acute trust and community trust about a year ago, and Middleton said this has made the delivery of a single point of access easier.

“This [project] ensures that information is assembled, transmitted and received in a similar process without risk of that information going astray,” he explained.

“There were no serious issues. This was more about improving things rather than dealing with serious issues that we already had.”

Middleton said the integration was never a technical issue, but relied on engagement and partnerships.

“We had conversations with the strategic health authority and primary care trust commissioners about how this might be taken forward,” he said.

The team also approached TPP and CSE and found they were “very receptive” to what it was trying to achieve.

“We did the output specification and they were receptive and came up with a proposal fairly quickly. Everyone was willing to engage,” he said.

The technical solution has now been tested and the plan is to go live in September, following a communication exercise with GPs.

Initially, it is being used for referrals to mental health services, but if that is successful it will be expanded to older people and other services.

Ultimately, the aim is to be able to send information back to GPs, such as discharge notifications and periodic updates if a patient is moved from acute to community care.

“We want GPs to be aware of that so they can keep a close view of what’s happening to their patients,” Middleton added. “We want to go live with the discharge summaries over the next 12 months.”

The trust is also looking to deploy TPPs clinical record viewer in the next year. The viewer allows hospital clinicians to access a read-only view of the patient’s full electronic record held by a TPP practice.