New standards for integrating key health and social care information have been published to help ensure services can provide more personalised care.  

The new national standards have been introduced to ensure that information is recorded and shared in a clear and consistent way across health and social care.

The standards have been commissioned and led by NHS Digital and produced by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).

Sam Bergin Goncalves, who was the citizen lead on the project, said: “Improved care is where people are listened to, valued and understood. It means goals and health ambitions are taken into account and support is offered to help achieve them.”

More than 1,000 people, including frontline health workers, patients and carers, helped develop the new standards as part of a consultation which also involved clinical and professional groups, charities, suppliers and researchers.

The five new standards will ensure important personal details, such as the need for additional social care support after a person’s hospital stay, will be recorded and shared with their care team.

Other important non-medical information can also be included, such as a photo and details about work, family or friends, or the ways a person usually behaves when they are in good physical and mental health. This will provide professionals with a better understanding of the person, not just their illness or condition.

The new standards cover:

  • ‘about me’ – the personal details that a person would like to be recorded about themselves
  • health and care information shared in care homes
  • information shared by local authorities
  • referrals for community assessments for care and support after a hospital stay
  • the urgent information needed when a person is transferred to hospital from a care home

James Palmer, head of the social care programme at NHS Digital, said: “The development of these standards marks a major step forward for social care, supporting better care for service users and wider use of shared digital records across the UK.

“Several areas across the UK have already begun implementing the standards, resulting in improvements to wellbeing and health and care. The learning from these pilots will be shared across the country.”

The development of the standards is part of NHS Digital’s Digital Social Care Pathfinders Programme, in which funding to roll out local digital projects has been awarded to 16 organisations which provide and commission adult social care services.

The pathfinders have previously piloted products and services and are now implementing them on a larger scale, many using these standards to support interoperability.