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New service will put crucial patient information in the hands of paramedics and mental health nurses

Posted on the 6th December 2018

A new method of sharing crucial patient information that will take the pressure off Accident and Emergency Departments is being rolled out across the country with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust being one of the first batch of NHS organisations to deliver the service.

The new National Record Locator Service allows a more joined-up health and care system and is being rolled out by NHS Digital. It enables assessors, such as mental health nurses and paramedics who are called to a patient in distress, to find out whether a patient they are treating has a mental health crisis plan.

This in turn enables them to transport that patient to a more appropriate care setting than A&E or offer alternative, community-based care as indicated in their crisis plan, something that would not only improve patient safety and mental health outcomes but also reduce duplicate care costs and help staff safety.

Damian Parkinson, Director of Health Informatics at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This is a great project that we’re leading on in the North West and as a Trust we’re pleased to be one of the first batch of NHS organisations that are implementing the National Record Locator Service. This piece of work is about delivering smart healthcare in a way that is joined-up and beneficial to the people we care for by giving them quality care at the right time and place. The service provides frontline staff with information available at a tap of a button and is a lovely example of how technology is helping the NHS evolve into delivering care collaboratively.”

Hadleigh Stollar, Integrating Care Programme Manager at NHS Digital, said:

“This is a critical milestone in the journey towards patient centred, integrated care enabled through a nationally supported and agnostic capability. Fundamental to this success has been the outstanding collaboration between NHS Trusts, system suppliers and the dedicated team at NHS Digital and I am personally grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this a reality”.

In the North West, the service has been launched by North West Ambulance Services in conjunction with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The scope of the National Record Locator Service will evolve over time but demonstrating the capability through this first-use case is an important step in assisting NHS organisations in their plans to move towards better integrated care models.

The next phase of development will continue integration with other Local Health and Care Record Exemplars before a full roll-out across the NHS. Record retrieval for phase one sites is expected by summer 2019 and future use-cases include end of life care, child health, maternity and cancer.