Doncaster health and care providers have reported “significant strides” in improving services for patients 12 months after its shared care record went live.

The Integrated Doncaster Care Record (iDCR) was launched in July 2018, joining up data from Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (DBTH), local GPs, nurses, social care teams and local authority systems

The system allows patient information to be shared across primary care, acute, social care, and out-of-hours services, enabling health and care professionals in Doncaster to quickly and securely access information when caring for patients.

As such, staff can make quicker and safer decisions about an individual’s care, while reducing the need for conversations to be repeated.

The sharing of information across health and care providers has been key to the further development of RDaSH’s Rapid Response service, which provides  support to older patients living at home.

When a patient has a fall at home, the Rapid Response team is able to access information from the shared care record to carry out assessments on the spot, reducing the need for a patient to be admitted to hospital.

As a result of these changes, the number of journeys by ambulances to emergency departments due to a fall declined by 15% in 2018-19 for patients aged 65 and over, Doncaster CCG said.

In addition, the number of unplanned hospital admissions for people aged 65 and over for trauma and orthopaedics has also declined by around 17% in the last two years.

As a result, fewer people are requiring long-term care and more people are staying at home after receiving intermediate care in their communities.

A nurse from the Rapid Response team, based at RDaSH, said: “The iDCR system has exceeded my expectations. A key purpose of the Rapid Response service is to ultimately help prevent admission.

“Having access to patient information and history on the iDCR is so helpful as the patient isn’t always in a position to share the information we need. It has also helped reduce the time it takes for an assessment to be completed as we have the information we need to hand.”

A programme of work will take place with all health and care organisations in Doncaster over the next 12 months to further promote the work and use of iDCR.

One aim is to double the number staff currently using the shared record system to further reduce the time organisations spend telephoning other departments and organisations.

Jackie Pederson, chief officer at NHS Doncaster CCG, said: “I am pleased with the continued focus and commitment from health and care organisations in Doncaster to use and further promote the benefits of the iDCR with their staff.

“A key focus in the NHS Long Term Plan is to enhance and go further with integrated care and digital care records so doing all we can to help the iDCR go from strength to strength is vital.

“I look forward to working with GPs, nurses, social workers, consultants and other professionals to further digitalise our approach to patient care in Doncaster.”

Read more: