Certain patients in Wales have been given access to their own health records, allowing them to collaborate more closely with clinicians on care needs.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is the first board in Wales to offer access to the Patients Know Best (PKB) portal, which gives patients instant access to their medical records.

It also gives them the ability to choose with whom they want to share their medical information, and to create a digital care plan.

As well has being shared with doctors, this care plan can also be seen by relatives and carers.

The service has currently gone live for patients under the care of the heart failure, Parkinson’s disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) teams. All of these are based at ABMU’s Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, founder and CEO of PKB – a British-based social enterprise – told Digital Health News that people in Wales have been ‘excited’ about the launch of the service.

ABMU has been working in partnership with the Welsh Government and NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) which has helped to integrate PKB with national data systems.

Hamish Laing, chair of the PKB project board and former ABMU medical director, said: “There is good evidence that giving patients greater access to their own health information and care plans, as well as other information about their health, helps them to take greater control of their health and offers us better ways to support them in doing so.”

Patients in Wales are not the one ones benefitting from PKB. In 2016, Digital Health News reported on how Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust offered the PKB system to 3,200 people with inflammatory bowel disease.