NHS organisations across Surrey have begun using patient-controlled personal health record technology to allow clinicians to view a single digital care record across four NHS trusts, GPs and four clinical commissioning group areas.

Within six months, clinicians working in Surrey will be able to see a shared integrated record from all the different health organisations using shared record technology supplied by Patients Know Best.

Once health professionals have begun using the shared PKB record the next step will be to extend it to patients as well.  The initiative is expected to eventually cover one million people across the county.

Steve Abbott, programme director for Surrey Heartlands local digital roadmap, said he wants PKB to give “our clinicians access so that our carers have the best information at hand to deliver care at the point of delivery”.

But, one of the challenges with that is “getting the information governance consent right, because there are some different expectations out there about what patients expect from consent”.

The project builds on Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust existing work with PKB that uses patient-controlled records for its 3,200 inflammatory bowel disease patients.

Abbott said having one integrated digital care record would mean that patients would not have to repeat themselves, each time the have to deal with a difference health professional or encounter a different part of the health service.

“They’re [clinicians] actually working with the latest data that’s available, so they’re not asking questions that have already been asked.”

PKB is already used in a similar way by the Care Information Exchange in north west London, where it was rolled out in November 2016.

Abbott said the announcement was “the first step in a long interoperability journey” for the area.

In a statement Abbott added that the fact the PKB solution was approved for use across the NHS network, N3, and worked on network-hosted architecture “allows us to deliver quickly at low cost.”

Julia Ross, chief executive at North West Surrey CCG and transformation board sponsor of the digital work stream for Surrey Heartlands described the initiative as a “great leap forward”.

“This will facilitate better integration of IT systems to provide more efficient care and improved information sharing.”

The health organisations signed up to the Surrey shared record project are:

  • All GPs in Surrey, except those in the Surrey Heath district
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North West Surrey CCG
  • Guildford and Waverley CCG
  • Surrey Downs CCG
  • East Surrey CCG