Durham County Council has become the second local authority to share its social care information through the Great North Care Record in order to help improve health and care for residents.

Adult social care staff in Durham are now able to share selected information about the people they are supporting, such as key medical and care history, as well as information about any equipment or adaptions they may need.

The Great North Care Record (GNCR) is supporting a more joined-up approach to care by safely and securely connecting patient information across health and social care organisations in the North East and North Cumbria.

Staff working in the organisations can access the data they need to help them make informed decisions that can improve the quality of care they deliver. The GNCR is also supporting the move to a more agile workforce, enabling care workers and nurses to move between roles in the NHS and the care sector.

Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “It is important to us that our residents have a positive experience of health and care services and the sharing of information through the Great North Care Record will help us to achieve this.

“Ensuring that we are sharing key critical information safely and appropriately about the people in our care will help to inform clinical decision-making and, ultimately, have a positive impact on the quality of care that our clients receive.

“It will also support health and social care staff in other sectors across the region. This partnership approach is key to connecting health and care services, meeting the needs of those who live in County Durham and helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing.”

The data shared is closely aligned with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) and gives a real-time, on-demand feed.

Durham County Council will be joining Sunderland City Council, which connected its own adult social care services to the record last year. Currently, every health trust, out-of-hours provider and clinical commissioning group in the region is connected to the GNCR, along with the North East Ambulance Service too. In addition Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead councils can view the data held on the shared record.

Dr Phil Stamp, emergency medicine consultant at Northumbria Healthcare Trust and the regional clinical safety officer for the Great North Care Record, said: “An increase in local authority information within the region’s shared care record means that health and care staff will, with appropriate safeguards, be provided with a greater depth of understanding of the needs of their patients, citizens or clients.

“Local authority information in particular is very valuable as it contains a record of caring needs and details which helps support the care of the some of the most vulnerable among us, so the addition of Durham County Council’s information is a great step towards better integrated care across the region.”