GPs and acute trusts in Southwark and Lambeth are sharing patient records using an in-house developed portal and the Medical Interoperability Gateway.

The Local Care Record allows healthcare professionals at Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trusts and local GP practices to view each other’s patient records.

The trusts have been sharing information via an in-house development called King’s Health Partners Online since November 2014.

Access to this portal has recently been extended to local GPs, who can see the full demographic information about a patient as well as clinic letters, discharge summaries, all patient results and X-rays.

More than 50 practices have enabled viewing of their records within the King’s Health Partners portal and 21 are able to view the King’s portal so far. Ninety-one have signed data sharing agreements and are registered to become users.

In the first month of use, GPs have already viewed the records 2,000 times and full roll-out is expected to be complete by the summer.

GPs have agreed to share their records with the acute providers via Healthcare Gateway’s MIG. Nine views of primary care data are available to hospital clinicians, including the patient problem list, medications, diagnoses and procedures.

Dr Adrian McLachlan, chair of NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group and GP partner at the Hetherington Group Practice, which piloted the Local Care Record, said access to the shared record is helping to improve the safety and quality of patient care.

“The Local Care Record is something my GP colleagues and I have been really excited about and it is already adding clinical value,” he said. “We have a clearer picture of the people we are caring for and their different health needs.”

Dr Cormac Breen, chief clinical information officer at Guy's and St Thomas' described the Local Care Record as a “major step forward in how the local NHS shares information to improve care for local people.”

“We will be able to make decisions based on a fuller and more up-to-date understanding of all the physical and mental health care needs of our patients, wherever they are. It will not only improve patient safety but also improve people’s experience of using the NHS by removing unnecessary duplication,” he said.

The Local Care Record has been developed as part of the Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care partnership, with input from local patient groups. It is a view-only and pulls information directly from electronic patient record systems in real-time, without the use of a data warehouse.

It is the first patient information sharing system in the UK to receive an official accreditation from GP system supplier EMIS Health for its Portal SDK.

Digital Health news editor Rebecca McBeth recently talked in detail to some of the people behind the development of the Local Care Record. Read more about the development of the project in today’s features.