A senior officer involved in the Thames Valley Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) project has said a single data store has been procured and hinted an official announcement is imminent.

Speaking at a Kings Fund and IBM Watson event on artificial intelligence in healthcare on 12 March, Dr Claire Fuller, gave an update on how the project is progressing.

“The first thing we have done, as a collective, is we have gone out and procured a single data store from which all our shared care records will be fed into,” she told the audience in London.

“We’re doing due diligence and we are about to announce who that is, but I won’t do that today.”

Dr Fuller is the senior responsible officer at the Surrey Heartlands Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, an integrated care system that forms part of the Thames Valley and Surrey LHCRE.

Speaking during a session on integrated care and population health management she said LHCREs were working closely with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in their areas to “make sure that we use data safely, but also to make sure we are working as innovatively as we can”.

The first wave of LHCRE sites were announced in 2018 with the intent of sharing patient data to support direct care and population health management.

They’re also tasked with the job of developing integrated care systems.

The first five sites, Greater Manchester, Wessex and One London, plus Thames Valley and Yorkshire and Humber, were awarded £7.5m from NHS England.

A second wave of sites, expected to be Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria plus Cheshire and Merseyside, the Great North Care Record and the South West, were expected to receive £5.4m, but a public announcement is yet to be made.

A total of ten regional shared records programmes were invited to bid for LHCRE status in early 2018.

But since the first wave was announced in May 2018, there has been little public knowledge about the progress being made in developing integrated care systems, or how their funding has been spent.

Dr Fuller’s comments are the first indication of where the LHCRE projects are at with the task at hand, but she did not say when an announcement could be expected.