Thousands of Londoners will have a greater say over their care and treatment under a £200,000 drive to increase the use of a shared urgent digital care record for ambulances, emergency departments and other urgent care services.
The NHS’s Health Innovation Network (HIN) has won funding to roll out Coordinate My Care (CMC), which ensures health and social care professionals have access to patients’ urgent care plans. Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the need for patients to set out how they want to be cared for with many preferring to stay at home rather than go into hospital.
Gloria Goldring created her own CMC care plan after a stressful end of life experience when her husband David was critically ill at a care home. He suffered from dementia and despite both agreeing that he did not wish to be resuscitated in a critical emergency, Gloria was told by paramedics that without paperwork to prove his end of life wishes, they would resuscitate David in the ambulance if needed.
“It was a big shock to me because this was something David and I had discussed many years ago and I just felt completely at a loss’, said Gloria Goldring.
Fortunately the trip to the hospital was just five minutes, David did not deteriorate and after Gloria explained to hospital staff that David had said he did not want to be resuscitated, this wish was accepted.
“So when CMC was introduced as a way to be able to flag this up I thought this was absolutely an essential for people to understand. I think there is no doubt if we had a plan it would have been flagged up. This would have lessened the stress that I was under because I was in a very terrible state.”
Having already supported over 115,000 Londoners to date, a Coordinate My Care plan puts the patient at the heart of planning their future medical care. The care plan is designed to share the most important, up to date clinical information about the patient, including who to contact in an emergency. This information is then shared with all the health and social care professionals involved in treating them, such as 111, out of hours GPs, the London Ambulance Service and hospital emergency departments.
The HIN is working closely with NHS and care system colleagues across London to identify a project in each of the five STP areas to accelerate the adoption of CMC to match local priorities and address local opportunities. The scheme will fund local clinicians to focus on championing CMC with their peers and clinical colleagues and help to embed CMC in local care pathways and processes.
Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive of the HIN, said:
”Helping patients across London to better express their wishes about their care is very important at this time. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Coordinate My Care and our NHS and care system colleagues to not only improve the quality of digital urgent care records but speed up the adoption and spread of this technology.
“HIN seeks to speed up spread and adoption, so where innovations like digital urgent care records have been shown to be effective, we believe that it’s important to work with our NHS and care colleagues to adopt this technology to better meet patients’ needs.”
Professor Julia Riley, Founder and Clinical Lead for Coordinate My Care, said:
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we are hearing that many patients and families are talking about difficult futures, challenging decisions and appropriate treatments. This partnership with the Health Innovation Network means that health care services across the community will be supported to encourage increasing numbers of patients to have a digital CMC record, to ensure their wishes are recorded, to better their outcomes and to support the urgent care services.”