Three projects have developed ITK links for data sharing in the NHS using Graphnet Health’s CareCentric system.

The links were developed in partnership with the Central Midlands Commissioning Support Unit, Solent NHS Trust, and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

All three projects were funded by the government’s Information Sharing Challenge Fund.

Central Midlands Commissioning Support Unit developed an ITK link between primary and secondary care, giving staff easy access to shared records.

Clinical Commissioning Group IT lead at the CSU, Gurpreet Dhatt, told EHI that the ITK project was part of a wider initiative to create a central care record across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.

He explained that although the record was already available by either logging into a portal or by single sign-on, they had struggled to get acute trusts to use it.

“The ITK link makes the data available to the trusts in whatever system they use at the hospital. That was really the incentive for us to deliver this,” said Dhatt.

“There’s a saying in the NHS that if it’s more than three clicks they won’t bother. This isn’t even a click, it’s presented in the system they already have.”

The ITK link went live three weeks ago.

“It’s been tested, now it’s about the local organisations making the decision of how they want it presented.”

In Hampshire, Solent NHS Trust has created an ITK compliant feed from its RiO system to the Hampshire Health Record.

The link will enable patient data from the trust to be shared automatically with GPs, pharmacists, hospital clinicians, social care workers and out-of-hours staff.

Toby Cave, ICT programme manager for the Hampshire Health Record at NHS South CSU, said that although the records were technically available across all providers, mental health and community trusts had previously been less visible.

“We’re in the final stages of testing and expect to go live over the next few days. We have about 500 community care plans that have come together so far," he said.

Three acute trusts and 70% of all GP practices upload daily information into the care records.

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Ortopaedic Hospital NHS Trust has used the ITK funding to develop a patient portal, which gives patients access to their hospital appointments, discharge summaries and results.

The portal will be deployed later this year.

The Department of Health’s £2m ITK fund was given to 43 projects at 38 trusts or NHS organisations to support information sharing projects.

HS England plans to run a second round of the fund this financial year.

Information sharing between between NHS commissioners and other care sectors will be discussed at Information for Commissioning, EHI’s new show devoted to the IT and information needs of clinical commissioners and their support organisations.


To see the full programme and to book a place, visit the Information for Commissioning website.