A pan-London information exchange is being developed to connect the city's local data-sharing projects and establish common standards, as part of a citywide interoperability programme.
The project is part of a joint effort between NHS England and the capital’s clinical commissioning groups to move towards the vision set out in last year’s Five Year Forward View, the five-year planning strategy produced by NHS England proposing new models of care to close an estimated £30 billion funding gap that could open up over the next decade.
A report on the collaborative work, ‘Transforming London’s health and care together’, includes 13 separate transformation programmes targeting separate aspects of the city’s health and care system.
One of the work programmes being developed will focus on “creating a citizen-centric pan-London information exchange, allowing for live access to real-time patient records and information”.
“This will be achieved by establishing interoperability standards that allow service providers to seamlessly exchange information across a diverse systems landscape,” the report says.
The programme team will also work on solutions for areas such as consent, identity management and role-based access controls to “overcome common issues that have historically acted as a barrier to true interoperability”.
The aim of the programme is to “connect existing locally owned and developed integration services…by establishing ‘standards’ to enable citizen-centric information exchange”.
Anne Rainsberry, NHS England’s regional director for London, told EHI News the proposal follows last October’s report from the London Health Commission, an independent inquiry established in September 2013 by London mayor Boris Johnson to examine how the capital’s health and healthcare can be improved.
“Information, data sharing and technology to support [London’s healthcare system] was a big part of the recommendations in the report,” Rainsberry said.
She said there is a need to expand the approximately 25 ‘localised information exchanges’ being developed in London “beyond the borough”, joining them up to ensure that data can be shared more easily across locations.
“Given the fluidity of people around London, which is far more permeable between boroughs than the rest of the country, we need to join things up at a London level, connect the local systems and build them where they don’t exist.”
Rainsberry said the programme team will develop standards for what information should be collected, how it should be collected, and what mechanism can be used to join up the disparate exchanges.
She said NHS England and the CCGs are working with the National Information Board to ensure the London work aligns with the national IT framework.
“If you look at the aspirations in the report, what we want to deliver in London, we want to change people’s behaviour so they make healthier choices…and put them more in control of their care, and this has a big role.”
Rainsberry said NHS England and the CCGs are finalising the programme of work for the entire project over the next year. They will also establish a London transformation board to oversee progress on the project, with a separate programme board monitoring the interoperability work.