The first independent large-scale procurement of a Personal Health Record (PHR) system covering London has awarded preferred supplier status to Patients Know Best (PKB).

London became the first to use the Health System Support Framework (HSSF) established by NHS England to run a regional PHR procurement and was supported by the NHS London Procurement Partnership.

The procurement builds on the achievements of the Care Information Exchange (CIE) which is also provided by PKB and serves more than 100,000 citizens living in North West London. Initial funding for the programme was provided by the Imperial Health Charity.

As a result of the procurement, a new three-year contract has been signed between North West London and PKB.

Other London regions can enter into their own contract negotiations to join the PKB network to exchange medical information with patients and professionals to transform the way patients interact with their health and care services.

Speaking to Digital Health News Kevin Jarrold, joint chief information officer of North West London Health and Care Partnership, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said that since the start of the CIE there has always been a desire to give patients more access to their health records.

“When we initially did the [CIE] implementation, what we had is a small number of users who are getting very high levels of benefit from it,” he said.

“Then in the course of last year we had arrived at a point where we were having to go back to the market and do a re-procurement so we had a dialogue at a London level and spoke with the other four ICSs who then joined that process and participated in it.”

Jarrold adds that the procurement means London ICSs have the flexibility to “take advantage of the contract at a point in time that works for them, if they choose to do so.”

From a North West London perspective, Jarrold said the contract with PKB will open up some new opportunities.

“From our point of view in North West London, because we have now got this arrangement in place for three years, we’ve now got the confidence to start building on it and we’re integrating it into the way in which we interact with patients,” he said.

“The whole way in which the patient can choose which parts of their record to share with trusted friends, family, and carers in a secure and controlled way has proven very popular amongst patients.”

PKB has been a long-standing advocate for the need for a patient-centred approach in the UK health system. Most recently, it became the first PHR to be integrated with the NHS App, which allows patients to access their data stored in PKB through the national health interface.

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, CEO and Founder of Patients Know Best, said: “This is the first big PHR procurement under the HSSF.

“It has been led by North West London and contributed to by all the Integrated Care Systems in London for our capital. The award follows PKB’s five-year journey and partnership with the fantastic team in North West London. We’re humbled to be awarded the procurement and thank NWL and all four other regions for sharing in the combined vision.”