Thames Valley and Surrey Local Health and Care Records partnership has awarded a contract to Graphnet to provide a new region-wide shared record platform and population health system.

The new £12.5 million, seven-year contract will focus on building on and joining up existing shared care records for 3.8m citizens across Surrey, the Thames Valley and Buckinghamshire.

Under the £12.5m, seven-year deal, System C Graphnet Alliance will provide its Connected Care platform to link together the current shared record setups – which are run on different platforms – in use across the Thames Valley and Surrey Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (TVS LHCRE).

This includes Connected Care in Berkshire and Frimley; MyCare Record in Bucks; the Oxford Care Summary; and Surrey Care Record.

Bryn Wales, cyber and architecture lead for TVS LHCRE and programme director for Buckinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS), told Digital health News: “This goes to the heart of the partnership approach in TVS. The care systems involved said they wanted to do this at a care system level.”

But he emphasised that the individual systems will carry on “at a care record level”.

Wales added: “[We’re] putting a single layer and repository and making that available across those care systems. The individual members have already got great products but with this their data will become richer and cross county borders.”

Over 60 health and care organisations are covered by the TVS LHCRE. The £2m a year of recurring costs are being met by six lead organisations, one per each of the six ICSs covered.

The deal includes analytics and advanced population health management tools to support direct care – the aim being to help devise new, improved pathways for the treatment of people with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and mental ill health.

It is said these tools will also help analyse and understand the needs of the local population as a whole, with specific actions identified to improve clinical outcomes.

Wales said the Graphnet population health solution vision is that any data in repository can be analysed at the population health level.

“We’ll be doing population health at a scale that has not been done before in the UK,” he contended. “Risk stratification, risk scoring and modelling. Identifying individuals and cohorts in a consistent way across the patch.”

Underpinning the whole solution will be Graphnet’s CareCentric shared record platform. This will use national interoperability standards to integrate data from the existing local care records in Thames Valley and Surrey.

Authorised health and social care professionals will be able to access information from patient histories, as well as view test results and care plans, no matter which local organisation they sit in or their patient has received treatment from.

The aim is also for patients to be able to access their records and use digital services and applications that support them to manage their own health and wellbeing.

Wales explained: “This is all based on FHIR and CareConnect profiles. We’ve got a mix of GP systems, and the joy is connecting all of those up, which we think is one of Graphnet’s strengths. This is also very much about [joining up] health and social care.”

He continued: “This year will be about building the platform and repository. We will then move on to building the information governance, open standards and interfaces, including links with up to 10 apps and third-party systems, beginning to go live in the autumn.”

Commenting on the contract, Fiona Edwards – chair of the TVS LHCRE programme board and leader of the Frimley Integrated Care System – said: “The procurement is a significant step forward in achieving our ambition to use the potential of digital technology to make real improvements to the way people are cared for and are able to look after their own health.”

Brian Waters, chief executive of Graphnet, commented: “The scope of this contract puts record sharing at the centre of plans to transform care right across the Thames Valley and Surrey area, with big benefits to citizens and to the health and social services themselves.”

TVS was one of five LHCREs selected by NHS England in summer 2018 and awarded £7.5 million funding. It serves a total population of 3.8 million.

The six health and care systems comprising TVS LHCRE are Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire West, Frimley, Surrey Heartlands and East Surrey (all ICCs) plus Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The contract with Graphnet was awarded under the new NHS England Health Information Services framework.