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Trust first to use new digital service which links paramedics to shared patient care records

Trust first to use new digital service which links paramedics to shared patient care records
04 December 2018

NHS Digital has launched a new service allowing emergency medical personnel to pull information from shared care records when called to a mental health patient in distress.

Hull and East Riding based Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first five NHS trusts in England to use the new National Record Locator Service (NRLS).  

The service enables paramedics and mental health nurses to find out whether the patient they are treating has a mental health crisis plan, by a means of helping inform their treatment.

Medical responders can then make an informed decision on whether the patient should be transported to a more appropriate care setting than A&E such as community-based care indicated in their crisis plan.

It is hoped the service will improve the treatment of mental health patients by directing them to more appropriate care setting when possible. It is also anticipated to improve the safety of patients and staff and reduce duplicate costs within A&E departments and mental health services.

Speaking to Digital Health, Dr Gareth Thomas, who leads the Integrating Care Programme at NHS Digital, called the initiative “a brilliant example of new technology meeting the demands of a modern and forward-thinking NHS.”

He added: “The record locator represents a fantastic opportunity for health and social care information to be available at the fingertips of frontline health and care staff, wherever they happen to be.”

Trust Chief Information Officer Lee Rickles said: “Our informatics team, Digital Delivery Group and NHS Digital have been working together during the last six months to ensure we can provide the interoperability between DXC Lorenzo and the NRLS.

“The new NRLS provides contact details for our Mental Health Response Service and Contact Point, so the Ambulance Service can access important information concerning the patient based upon their crisis plan. 

“This is expected to help patients receive the right care in the right place.”

The next phase of development will see integration expanded to other Local Health and Care Record Exemplars ahead of an NHS-wide roll-out.

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