The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire health community has signed with Orion Health to develop a shared patient record.

The programme will deliver a local portal, which will integrate clinical and social health data from a variety of sources.

It is key to the community’s Connecting Care programme – a commitment between NHS providers and local authorities across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to share more information.

Director of informatics and business intelligence for Best West Commissioning Support and Connecting Care programme chair Andy Kinnear said patient information had been held in silos for too long.

“We took a view that we needed a detailed shared record across our community,” he said.

The programme will be delivered in two stages and only the first stage is currently financed for less than £300,000.

This 12-month project will create an urgent and unscheduled care shared record including basic information such as allergies and diagnoses.

It will link 10 systems at two acute trusts, two local authorities, GP practices and out-of-hours providers and will be delivered from early September.

Once linked, the full clinical records from these providers could be made available via the portal. Kinnear said the level of sharing was yet to be determined, but the aim was to build six ‘user views’, pulling relevant clinical information for each group.

How staff would access it was also yet to be worked out, but the aim was to have it embedded in existing clinical systems.

Kinnear said Orion would work with the group to establish real benefits and costs during this initial phase and together develop a business case for full roll-out of the portal. He expected the total contract value to be around £2m.

He said the idea of a shared record had been around for more than three years. It came about due to some visionary informatics leaders in the local authorities and NHS, pushing for more joined-up information to support integrated working and care pathways across the community.

The group initially hoped to attract central funding via the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity programme, which collapsed in 2011.

However, Kinnear said the vision was strong enough to “press on” and the community ran a lengthy formal procurement last year. The portal is being commissioned predominantly by three CCGs, via their IM&T provider, Best West CSU.