Digital services company Answer Digital has won a contract to continue delivering the NHS Integrating Care Programme.

Working with NHS Digital, the Leeds-based company will be responsible for the development and delivery of the programme, which aims to join up care.

Answer Digital has worked on the Integrating Care Programme for more than two years, helping project to provide a mechanism for organisations to share important records between healthcare providers in the NHS.

The NHS has partnered with Answer Digital for the next phase of development for the programme, which will run until March 2021, with a 24-month extension option available.

Richard Pugmire, head of health at Answer Digital, said: “The project will speed up the process of sharing patient records, ensuring a more accurate medical history is available.

“Ultimately, the work will help to prevent harm and drive efficiencies in healthcare with less waiting for data.

“A great deal of work has been done to ensure data security, with records only available to authorised users with the appropriate controls.”

The initial pilot alerted authorised ambulance staff to the presence of mental health crisis plans on emergency patients’ medical records, allowing them to treat patients better on-site and avoid unnecessary A&E attendances.

The next phase will introduce new areas of specialism in more care settings, putting clinical information in the hands of the medical professionals that need it.

The NHS Integrating Care Programme is working to join up IT systems across health and social care by making systems work with each other.

It aims to enable improved care decisions through providing authorised health and social care professionals with immediate, secure access to accurate health and care information.