Islington Council in Information Sharing first.

In a drive towards cost savings & efficiency, Whittington Health and Islington Council have become the first organisations in the country to go live with a pioneering new project, to improve information sharing between the NHS and Social Care. Delays in exchanging information between NHS and Social Care, about proposed discharge dates and a patient’s needs, can be a major cause of delayed discharges from acute settings into the community. The aim of the London “Adapter” Project, run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre/NHS Digital, is to allow Health and Social Care professionals to electronically share patient admissions & discharge notices.

Michael Woolcott, Head of Information Services at the London Borough of Islington Council comments: “Islington is dedicated to improving all aspects of joint working with health agencies and this software will facilitate that a great deal. Both the team here and at LiquidLogic have demonstrated total commitment to the Adapter Project from day one and we are very proud to be the first Local Authority to pass testing and put it into our live system.”

Statistically speaking.

A recent article published by theguardian concluded, delays in discharging elderly patients from hospital is costing the NHS £820m a year. Auditors estimate that approximately 85% of delayed transfers of care, are of patients aged 65 years or older. The official number of reported hospital bed “days lost” due to delayed transfers of care – was recorded as 1.15m in 2015, a “substantial” 31% jump from 2013. Auditors questioned the official data and suggested the figure may actually be as high as 2.7m “bed days” a year.

The conneQt solution, by QuickSilva, exchanges various, key demographic information in the matching of the patient between the systems such as NHS number, LAS number, DOB & address. The new system allows admission and discharge notices to be seamlessly and securely exchanged between Whittington’s System C Medway Patient Administration System and Islington’s Liquidlogic Social Care Case Management System, allowing for the necessary support to be in place to maximise the elderly resident’s independence within the community, at the click of a button.

Glenn Winteringham, Director of IM&T at The Whittington Hospital, explains: “This is a very important and concrete example of how IT can be used to transform service delivery for the direct benefit of patients.   The automatic transmission of patient information will make it so much easier to ensure that vulnerable patients are discharged seamlessly into the community, with the right levels of support in place to meet their particular needs.”