Vital health and care information about patients in Bolton can now be viewed wherever they receive treatment in Greater Manchester.
The development of the GM Care Record has been accelerated to help frontline professionals in the fight against COVID-19 and incorporates the records of all 2.8m citizens.
Health and care organisations in Bolton have been using the Bolton Care Record since 2016. It enables GPs, doctors, nurses and practitioners to see up to date medical records, care plans, medication and test results to ensure patients receive the right care and treatment.
It also means that patients don’t have to keep repeating their medical history to each person they see while receiving treatment.
Now, the Bolton Care Record will form part of the wider GM Care Record and health and care professionals working elsewhere in the region will be able to view the records of a Bolton patient they are treating.
Similarly, Bolton organisations with access to the GM Care Record will be able to view the details of patients they treat from outside of the borough.
In response to the pandemic, the GM Care Record also includes information about when a patient has been tested or diagnosed with COVID-19 to ensure continuity of care across different care settings.
The project has been overseen by Health Innovation Manchester and the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, working on behalf of GM’s devolved health and care partners. Rapid progress has been made in weeks rather than months as part of the city region’s COVID-19 digital response plan and collaborative effort.
Dr Dharmesh Mistry, who is a Clinical Director of the Chorley Road Network and a GP at Heaton Medical Centre, as well as being a BARDOC Out of Hours GP, uses the Bolton Care Record extensively.
He said: “The Bolton Care Record has for some years enabled professionals to access essential information on the one site. Bolton has been leading the way, increasing the information that is available on the Bolton Care Record to assist health and social care workers in Bolton to deliver excellent care. Now, the concept has progressed further to involve the whole of Greater Manchester, enabling us to feed into one record.
“Many people already assume that the health and social care system has access to their records to help deliver safe care, but unfortunately they don’t. Useful information is often isolated for a variety of complex reasons. We have been working hard to try and match that expectation and it is important to develop this further throughout Greater Manchester, particularly now when care often crosses town boundaries with the increasing number of specialist centres and patient choice.
“The record has been particularly useful during the pandemic in the Out of Hours setting where more consultations have been done over the phone and patients and the doctors have more confidence in safe remote management because of the availability of shared clinical information.”
Dr Simon Irving, a Consultant in Acute Medicine at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Bolton Care Record helps us to effectively and safely share patient information across healthcare settings. This helps speed up the treatment for our patients who may be suffering from potentially life threatening conditions. Having access to information when a GP practice is shut has been incredibly beneficial.
“It really does help services work better together ensuring we provide the highest level of care to those who need us.”
Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of Bolton CCG, said: “This is a really positive step towards making the treatment of patients as seamless as possible as vital information about their condition, medication and previous care will be available and accessible to whomever may be treating them.
“We are proud to have established the Bolton Care Record and pleased to see the development of even safer care across Greater Manchester at such a critical time.”
The Bolton Care Record was introduced in 2016 by partners across the health and care system, and hosted by Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group.
The partners include: Bolton CCG; Bolton Council; Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (FT); Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust (GMMH).
For more information and to read the GM press release, visit: https://healthinnovationmanchester.com/news/gm-care-record-supports-covid-19-response/