CCG News, Secondary Care

Dorset to join up health and social care in line with sustainability and transformation plans

The Dorset Care Record (DCR), powered by Orion Health’s technology, will integrate information from local GPs, hospitals, community teams and local councils. It is driven by collaboration between health and social care organisations across the county, including: NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (DCCG), Dorset County Hospital, Poole Hospital, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, Dorset Healthcare along with Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole.

As part of an initial five-year contract with lead authority for the DCR partnership, Orion Health will provide the region’s integrated electronic record needed to deliver a comprehensive range of adult and children’s services. The solution will improve coordination and communication between different agencies by enabling appropriate access to information at the point of care. Enhanced decision making made possible by the accessibility of relevant information will improve treatment outcomes and will reduce delays through more seamless delivery of care. The project has the potential to extend beyond the initial 5 years to develop it long-term to maximum benefit.

The DCR will encompass diagnoses, prescribed drugs, blood tests, pathology and X-ray results, hospital discharge letters as well as information on next of kin, carers and care providers plus care plans agreed between people and professionals.

“The DCR represents real investment in the future health of Dorset’s residents. This innovative approach to enable closer working between professionals across health and social care is a key element of our wider sustainability and transformation plan to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities,” said Dorset Country Council Chief Executive Debbie Ward and Phil Richardson, director of Design and Transformation at NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and DCR Senior Responsible Officer.

The initiative is being part funded by NHS England’s Integrated Digital Care Fund and partner organisations and is seen as a key enabler for integrated working in support of the shared Sustainability and Transformation Plan for the county.

“Given the importance and complexity of the project, we put emphasis on involving all key stakeholders, specifically ensuring the procurement was led by clinicians and social care practitioners,” said Ben Chennell, GP and chair of the DCR board.

The technology procured for this project will enable service transformation across the county, so it was critical to facilitate collaboration between IT and clinicians. Orion Health was the highest scoring provider, having been able to demonstrate the flexibility, scalability and robustness of its solution. Clinicians and care practitioners were also very positive about the ease of use of the system.

Colin Henderson, VP EMEA, Orion Health commented: “Clinical engagement from an early stage is key to the successful implementation and uptake of technology and DCCG has ensured that a wide range of clinicians and social care practitioners were involved in the rigorous procurement process.

“We now look forward to working closely with the various stakeholders to deliver the DCR which will radically change the way health and social care services are delivered. This will be achieved by developing data flows and views that support health and care integration to provide greater, seamless access to information. This will lead to more informed decision making and ultimately better outcomes for patients and service users.”

Long-term, there is a plan to extend the DCR to share data with other health and care organisations which meet the county’s information sharing security criteria, such as hospices and neighbouring NHS facilities that people in Dorset use. The Partnership has also purchased Orion Health’s Patient Portal solution, which in time will allow citizens to gain access to their own records and actively manage aspects of their care.