Ivy’s story

Ivy is an 81-year-old widow living on her own at home, where she wants to stay.

Ivy takes medicines for type 2 diabetes and was in hospital recently after a fall. She has regular contact with social care, intermediate care and diabetes care teams, plus her GP.

In one day she can talk to several different care professionals and gets frustrated at having to repeat her story, because they don’t have access to a common set of notes.

Ivy feels as if she is the main line of communication between organisations and worries that she might forget to share something important.

The Northamptonshire Care Record will allow the sharing of information and better co-ordination between different health and care organisations.

Shared networks and mobile digital devices will give all health and care staff supporting Ivy access to key information about her so they do not have to keep asking her for it – removing some of the burden she feels.

Health and care staff will also be able to record the care they provide while in Ivy’s home, keeping her GP and others providing her care up to date.

New digital systems will also allow the sharing of information between Ivy’s GP and hospital services. If Ivy is admitted to hospital again, staff there will be able to view her up-to-date health and care record straight away.

Rita’s story

Rita is an A&E triage nurse and is on duty in the emergency department (ED) at Northampton General Hospital when Ivy arrives by ambulance. She was found on the floor at home, cold and confused.

The ambulance crew have already asked Ivy about her history, medications and allergies. Rita doesn’t have this information so she has to ask Ivy it all again.

Ivy worries that she has missed something important, so Rita calls her GP. This takes Rita away from directly looking after people for about 15 minutes. Precious practice time is also taken up printing and faxing a summary of Ivy’s records through to the hospital.

If it had been busier in the emergency department Rita would not have had time to do this and would have had to rely on the information Ivy was able to provide.

The Northamptonshire Care Record means Rita and her emergency department colleagues are able to view up-to-date information about the patients they see.

Because of this, Rita doesn’t have to rely on triage notes about Ivy. Instead, she can access Ivy’s information from within the system she uses in the hospital.

This means that Rita knows the care package Ivy has in place and which other agencies are involved in her care. She can communicate with these services so they know Ivy is in the hospital.

From Ivy’s record, Rita can see that Ivy is diabetic so she notifies the hospital diabetes team. Thanks to the new system, the ED consultant Raj knows exactly what medication Ivy is on.

By writing up a chart for Ivy straight away, he makes sure she doesn’t miss a critical dose while in ED. Meanwhile, Rita uses the system to identify and call the relevant services to re-establish Ivy’s care package as soon as she has been reviewed by the diabetes team. This means that Ivy can go home the same day, easing her anxiety and saving a hospital bed for someone who really needs it.