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Connected Care

Connected Care is a new system for sharing information about a patient across subscribing health and social care organisations. The system gives instant, secure access to a patient’s health and social care records across Berkshire, and is being expanded to include the information which is in other geographies across the Frimley STP / ACS footprint and also for Berkshire West.

Patients are encouraged not to opt out of the system through a ‘Share Your Care’ promotional campaign. If a patient or member of the public asks about ‘Share Your Care’, they are asking about patient record sharing accessed via the clinical system known as Connected Care.

How Connected Care works

GPs, hospitals, community health, mental health, out of hours GP services and social care teams all hold important information about people. Connected Care takes a snapshot of individual records from each subscribing organisation and gives a single record with all this information, either in real time or from a nightly update. The patient information that can be seen on the system is from an agreed data set, designed and developed locally by a cross section of professionals from the partnership organisations. Only those directly involved with the care of a patient, and who are authorised to use the system, can access this information.

People might confuse Connected Care with national projects such as Summary Care Records and care.data, however these are very different programmes of work.  We also know that some people are concerned about data security and whether private organisations, such as insurance companies, will have access to their information. 

The following facts are useful about Connected Care:

  • Connected Care is the computer system used by care professionals in the NHS and local authority social care teams to care for residents in Berkshire, and will soon include other places across across the STP footprint for Frimley Health, including Surrey Heath and North East Hants & Farnham.
  • Where possible, people will be asked for consent by the care professional giving direct care to the person before their record is accessed, (more information on the consent model available here).
  • Information stored in Connected Care is not accessed or sold to third parties. The Connected Care system is only used to help ensure the care people receive is safe and consistent with known conditions, past treatment, and prescribing information that can be displayed in the system.
  • Connected Care records are held in a secure medical database at a data centre in England.

Connected Care is far more efficient than traditional methods of sharing confidential records such as fax, letter or telephone.