The Northamptonshire Care Record (NCR) is a new solution to enable sharing of patient records between health and care professionals to provide an integrated care record across the county.

The NCR will bring together data from:

  • General practice
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northamptonshire County Council (adult and child social services)
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Voluntary sector organisations involved in direct care (where appropriate)

Progress to date

  • An open procurement process for a supplier was undertaken in late 2019
  • A contract confirming Graphnet Health Ltd as the supplier was signed in January 2020
  • The data sharing principle for the NCR is that information will be shared for the purposes of direct care
  • Work is now under way with partners to:
    • Complete Information Governance documentation
    • Plan the systems / data integration and testing
    • Widen communications and engagement
    • Plan training and educational support material

When will the NCR be available for use?

  • Data from each organisation will be tested and deployed individually, therefore data in the NCR will build up gradually as each organisation approved their data loads.
  • The planned deployment order is:
    • Patient Demographics from the Spine
    • General Practice Data – EMIS & TPP GP Practices
    • Acute Hospitals Data – Kettering General Hospital & Northampton General Hospital
    • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
    • Northampton County Council data – adult’s and children’s
    • East Midlands Ambulance Service data
  • The first live data should be available for professionals to use in Autumn 2020

Frequently asked questions

Local health and social care organisations have a duty to keep complete, accurate and up-to-date patient information so they can provide the best possible care and support, and when appropriate this information is also shared with other health and care professionals. To support this a new process has been put in place in Northamptonshire, which electronically joins up patient records, at the point of care, between our county’s NHS and social care organisations. This is called the Northamptonshire Care Record (NCR).

Previously patient information and care records will have been shared via traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email, which can be slow and, at times, unreliable. The Northamptonshire Care Record will enable professionals to view patient details automatically through their existing computer systems, allowing better decision-making and care to be provided. Information is only shared when needed to ensure patient care and treatment is safer, easier and faster, and is only accessed by those people directly involved in patient care.

The Northamptonshire Care Record will contain up-to-date and relevant care information about patients and service users, at the time they are speaking to health and care professionals.  Examples of information that is shared include:

  • Name, address and NHS number to help identify the individual correctly
  • Details of people involved in their care, appointments and visits
  • Medicines they  have been prescribed and details of medication reactions and allergies
  • Test results, referrals, clinic letters, discharge information to ensure professionals have all the information they need to provide treatment and care

Certain sensitive information is never shared, for example sexual health information.

To provide the best treatment and support care professionals need access to the most up-to-date information about their patients in one place. This allows professionals involved in providing care to make better joined-up decisions and work with patients more effectively. All professionals involved in providing care will have access to the same information, which will not only enable faster and safer care and treatment, but will also reduce the need for patients to have to repeat their stories to each person involved in their care. For example, emergency departments will be able to instantly see what medication has been prescribed for a patient by their GP – and GPs will be able to see what treatments or tests they have received in hospital.

Only professionals who are directly supporting a patient or service user’s care will have access to their care records and, wherever possible, they should inform the individual that they are accessing their records. This may not be possible every time (in an emergency, for example); however, each time a user accesses patient information there will be a clear record or audit of it. Patients are able to ask for further information from care professionals or to opt-out of sharing their information at any time.

The Northamptonshire Care Record system is hosted by NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on behalf of the other NHS and social care organisations in our county which make up Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership. It is overseen by senior managers and clinicians across all partner organisations.

The following organisations are participating in the Northamptonshire Care Record:

  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northamptonshire GP practices
  • Northamptonshire County Council (adult and child social services)
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

The programme is supported by:

  • NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

There are rules in place to make sure that only those directly involved in patient care will use the Northamptonshire Care Record to view information about them, and only on a ‘need to know’ basis. Also, certain sensitive information is never shared, for example sexual health information. Where possible, health and care professionals should inform individuals that they are using the Northamptonshire Care Record to access their details. This will ensure they are fully aware and given the opportunity to find out more information or to opt-out of sharing their information if they wish. Individuals can also opt-out at any time by speaking to their GP or care professional.

Care information will always be updated locally by the services and professionals that use the records. These updates will be present in the patient’s care record the next time it is viewed.

Patient information can only be accessed over a secure network and by those who are directly involved in providing care to the individual. By law, people working in or on behalf of the NHS or social care departments or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect patient privacy and keep all information safe.

Whenever possible, professionals should inform patients and service users when they are accessing your care record. This may not be possible every time, for example in an emergency. However, each time information about an individual is accessed, there is a clear record of it. This record can be provided to the individual if requested. Only professionals who are directly supporting an individual’s care will have access to their care record.

Yes, anyone can choose not to share your information when they register with their GP practice or at any time when speaking to those involved in their care or those who want to view their care record.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, anyone can request access to any information that an organisation holds about them, including electronic and paper records.

The Northamptonshire Care Record provides a more detailed view of health, care and treatment records from health and social care organisations across Northamptonshire. The Summary Care Record is used nationally and contains important information from the records held by GP practices. It includes details of medication, allergies and previous adverse reactions to medication. The Summary Care Record also includes an individual’s name, address, date of birth and NHS number for the purposes of identification. Individuals who have already opted out of the Summary Care Record will still need to say if they want to opt out of the Northamptonshire Care Record.

Although the Northamptonshire Care Record will not contain all information about an individual that’s held by social services, it is likely to contain some information that is relevant to their care, treatment or support. This may include information about a hospital stay, hospital discharge or support the individual is receiving in the community. It is the ambition of the NCR to include more social care information in the future to further support and completely join up care. We will provide more information about this in the future.

No, the Northamptonshire Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care, treatment and support by professionals involved in providing care.

No, the Northamptonshire Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care, treatment and support by professionals involved in providing care.

The Northamptonshire Care Record allows professionals involved in patient care to view relevant care information and improve the services they provide. The system is growing and over time will include care records held by organisations from surrounding areas. In the meantime, organisations and professionals will still continue to share information in other ways, which may take a little more time.

The system will be going live on 1 April 2020. If you require further information or would like to discuss the Northamptonshire Care Record please click here to contact the NCR team.

No, personal information will never be shared with or sold to external or private organisations including research or insurance companies.