NHS South Worcestershire CCG pilots new technology from Advanced and Black Pear

Solution to enhance palliative care services by enhancing information sharing between primary care, out of hours, and NHS 111 services

NHS South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is leading the trial of newly-integrated technology from Advanced and Black Pear.

This will ensure information can be shared more effectively between primary care providers and out of hours (OOH) and NHS 111 providers on behalf of the three clinical commissioning groups in Worcestershire.

The 12-month pilot began in May 2016 and involves 67 GP practices, three hospices, the regional ambulance service, and palliative care staff.

Advanced and Black Pear Software are partnering with Worcester Well Connected - a health and social care programme being delivered by all the local NHS organisations - to deliver the Electronic Palliative Care Coordination Systems (EPaCCs) project.

GPs, paramedics, hospice staff and palliative care teams input special notes or patient preferences for end-of-life care into Black Pear’s electronic shared plan service. This is pre-populated with information from patient records already held in EMIS Web, the most-widely-used primary care clinical system in the UK.

This new integration makes these details automatically available in Adastra, the patient management system from Advanced, which is used by the OOH and NHS111 call handlers.

NHS South Worcestershire CCG, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG and NHS Wyre Forest CCG commission healthcare services on behalf of the county’s 500,000 population and together are funding the trial, with Care UK - the OOH provider - and Vocare, the NHS111 provider, participating.

Debbie Westwood, senior programme lead for NHS South Worcestershire CCG, said: “We already had a robust end-of-life care pathway and were sharing information between organisations, but that was via fax or email which involved re-keying data and was inefficient.

“We were really keen to be involved with Advanced and Black Pear’s trial of this newly-integrated technology, as it will provide a more-modern, streamlined way of working – making our staff’s lives easier. Most importantly, patients will also have a better experience and can be assured their wishes will be adhered to, regardless of which provider is taking care of them or if they lose capacity to share their views.”

Care UK and Vocare already use Adastra to guide their call handlers and clinicians through the triage process. This new integration will allow primary care staff to share the palliative care information, with the patient's consent, with the OOH and NHS111 staff at the click of a button. If patients’ wishes change, the record can be easily updated online.

Westwood said: “This technology supports our drive to be paperless and be more efficient, in line with the NHS’s Five Year Forward View.

“Our administrative staff and clinicians are already feeling the benefit, with more time available to spend with patients, who, in turn, are receiving an enhanced service. Greater interoperability of systems is another step on our digital roadmap to move away from silos of patient information and towards more accessible data that can be easily shared.”

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