Personal health records systems are set to be a significant part of the National Information Board’s upcoming informatics strategy, Health and Social Care Information chief executive Andy Williams has said.

The long-awaited strategy is set to be released later this year, outlining a ten-year plan for how to make the most of data and technology in healthcare.

The board is comprised of representatives from a number of health organisations including the Department of Health, NHS England and the HSCIC.

Williams told EHI the strategy will “say a lot” about access to personal health records for patients and what systems must be put in place for them.

“I think over time, some of that [access to personal health records] will be done through national systems, some of it will be done locally, and our job is to make sure the national systems are developed, and that the local systems are enabled.

“If you think about how to make the health and social care system more accessible to patients digitally, a lot of it is about how do I make appointments, how do I know where I am, do I have access to a personal health record, and how do I find out the information that’s relevant to my care.

“The NIB strategy is about how do we bring that information together and make the most of it.”

Williams said the strategy will provide a “high-level agenda” for the health and social care sector with the HSCIC set to implement the majority of the significant informatics projects.

He said it should also clarify questions about the HSCIC’s role and its relationship with NHS England and other healthcare organisations.

Williams acknowledged there have been some “misunderstandings” about the respective roles of the HSCIC and NHS England, but said the organisations have been working closely together to ensure there is no confusion.

“This system has only been in operation for 18 months or so, and you still get some overlaps and confusion, but we are working those through. The governance arrangements that exist and are starting to work are now a key part of that, and we are certainly in the right direction.”

EHI reporter Sam Sachdeva interviewed Andy Williams at length at the HSCIC’s offices in London this week. Read the full profile in Insight.

Andy Williams will be one of the keynote speakers at EHI Live 2014, where other keynote speakers include Tim Kelsey, the director of patients and information at NHS England, and Dr Ranj, the popular presenter of ‘Get Well Soon’ and a fan of social media in health.

A full list of the keynote speakers, co-located conferences, feature areas and exhibitors at this year’s EHI Live is available on its website.Registration is free for all and open now.