Egress Group’s healthcare division was delighted to sponsor the Shared Care Record Summit for the first time this year. Bringing together health and social care staff to learn about progress on Connected Care Solutions, including updates on national strategies, the Summit is backed by NHS England and hosted by the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record.

A select group of solution providers are invited to sponsor the event each year, those who are actively supporting the safe and robust adoption of shared care initiatives. We were delighted to be amongst them. Andrew Meiner, our Healthcare Practice Director, attended and shared some of his thoughts with us:

I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Shared Care Record Summit at the ICC in Birmingham on 16 & 17 April.

It was my first time at the Summit and, as someone with a keen interest in sharing data in health and social care, I was keen to act as a ‘sponge’ and absorb as much information as possible.

The Summit brought together hundreds of Health and Social Care professionals, as well as many patients and service users, from across the nation, regions, and localities, with participants showcasing their achievements in sharing information through healthcare settings.

Here are my key takeaways from the event: –

1. Patient Centric Approach

Dr. James Reed, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, emphasised the importance of shared care records. There was an overwhelming consensus that integrated, digital care records are no longer optional, but an essential part of healthcare.

This was evidenced and brought to life by patients, parents, and other service users, who presented their personal stories and experiences throughout the two days. They included Samantha Goncalves, a parent whose son Shane has required medical care since birth. She shared her perspective on how online resources can collate crucial patient information. Her heartfelt message resonated: “When you have a good team around you, it really is unbelievable what you can achieve.” This was an incredibly powerful and moving story that reminded me why I’ve worked for more than 30 years in digital health. Little things can make a massive difference.

2. Patient Stories & Clinical Perspectives

Hearing directly from patients and their families, alongside thoughts from clinicians and other care professionals, was insightful. The Summit provided a unique opportunity to hear their stories directly. Their open and honest perspectives enriched discussions and reinforced the purpose of our work.

It served to remind us all that co-production with, and learning from, those who use NHS services is vital for continuous improvement. Engaging patients in co-production ensures that shared care records align with their needs. Clinicians also shared practical insights, emphasising the importance of collaboration.

3. There are challenges ‘at the edges’

Southwest Ambulance Service highlighted the challenges of working across 7 Integrated Care Boards where there are 6 different Shared Care Record solutions in place, none of which ‘talk’ to each other. This is actually a common issue for all Ambulance services. Gary McAllister, from NHS England, subsequently presented the proposed national architecture which is designed to help alleviate this problem, part of which is the National Record Gateway,

Jordi Piera Jiminez continued by outlining the approach that Catalonia has taken, having experienced the same technical limitations back in 2006 as England is currently experiencing with shared care records. The region is deploying an open platform approach, using openEHR, to help resolve the common challenges of co-production, cross-boundary sharing and care planning.

My personal takeaway from this is that Shared Care Records by themselves cannot solve ‘integrated care’ and that care planning will require more sophisticated read/write capabilities in a common, co-produced repository between care provider(s) and patient.

In summary, the Shared Care Record Summit highlighted the power of technology in improving patient care. However, it’s not just about data and technology. It’s about transforming lives and creating a cohesive approach to healthcare delivery.

There was real energy and commitment to making health and care better at the Summit and I very much look forward to attending again next year.

All of the presentations from the Summit are available on the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record website:

If you would like to know more about Andy’s thoughts on the Summit, Shared Care in general, connecting systems, Open Standards or to discuss anything else data or integration related, he would love to hear from you.