A new system that aims to transform the way information is shared among health and care organisations has been launched in Devon and Cornwall.
The Devon and Cornwall Care Record (DCCR) enables authorised health and care staff to see details held by a wide range of providers across Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly in a single record. It gives professionals a more complete view of a patient’s history and is part of a national programme.
This month’s briefing brings you the latest news from the second phase of the project as well as some details about the One South West project to provide ambulance staff with access to the DCCR.
December briefing – a review of the year
After coming to the end of the year in which the Devon and Cornwall Care Record was launched, DCCR Programme Director Mark Procter looks back at the programme’s milestones and achievements in 2022.
January to March 2022
One of the difficulties with creating a new product is deciding when to launch it.
Our plans indicated that we would be ready to go-live in early May 2022 with a solution that was not quite finished but would nonetheless be clinically useful to many stakeholders.
The year started well, as we began testing several connections to other systems. This included a connection to the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) which enables the sharing of GP patient information. We also had connections in place for admission, discharge and transfer information from Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Cornwall Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Plymouth. In addition, we were able to display information from Devon Partnership Trust and Livewell Southwest.
As well as assisting with the testing, the DCCR support team spent time getting to grips with the system in readiness to support users after launch. All the support documentation such as standard operating procedures had to be created from scratch.
April to June 2022
While we had hoped to go-live in May, the extensive testing revealed some issues. These were traced back in many cases to the fact that we were attempting to interface with some very old IT systems that remain in use within Devon and Cornwall, as well as some issues in the application itself.
We reluctantly decided it would be best to delay the go-live to ensure that the solution was reliable and useable.
The delay did provide the opportunity to undertake additional engagement activities and we ran several webinars with key stakeholders that were well attended. We also engaged with local Healthwatch and other organisations and spent time enhancing the training material and making improvements to the website.
July to September 2022
Final testing and system building were carried out in July, and we completed final checks on cyber security and information governance. The last gateways were completed in early August, which allowed us to go-live on 8 August 2022.
We decided on a soft, phased approach for launch, and we started on-boarding organisations the same week.
All the work of the past 18 months had come together, and thanks to the efforts of the technical and testing teams and Orion Health (our technology provider), there were very few technical hitches. The excellent preparation of the support team meant that any minor issues were quickly dealt with.
We did experience a slightly more complex issue with network connectivity. The DCCR solution is unique in that we are working with multiple organisations who have different network configurations as well as people working from home using a variety of virtual private networks. Fortunately, we managed to implement solutions thanks to Orion and their hosting provider, and the support of a number of local networking and IT staff.
Webinars and other engagement events continued to encourage GP practices and other organisations to sign-up.
October to December 2022
From a technical standpoint, phase one was now complete (although on-boarding of organisations continues). So now it’s on to the planning and work for phase two.
The experience of the past 18 months has stood us in good stead and Orion have already implemented a new release into the testing environment. Early in 2023 we will be using this to test the alerts feed from Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, the Emergency Department feed from University Hospitals Plymouth and some initial admission, discharge, and transfer information from Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
We are also planning for the inclusion of documents in the near future, including echocardiograms, and some specialty radiology results.
The four Devon hospices have agreed to share their information, and the intention is to make this available early in 2023 (unfortunately the Cornwall hospice does not have a system that is able to share information at present).
Discussions with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are ongoing, and we hope to share some of their admission, discharge, and transfer data before the end of the financial year.
There are still 34 GP practices in Devon to sign up to the DCCR – compared with six in Cornwall – so a significant part of our work in 2023 will involve engaging them.
The implementation of a completely new system across two counties and multiple stakeholder organisations is a significant undertaking. This couldn’t have been achieved without the help and support of people across the two systems. So, a massive thanks is due to all those who have assisted or contributed to the success in some way.
We look forward to building on what we have achieved and providing a richer dataset to assist health and care professionals in caring for the people of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
We will continue to keep you updated on the programme in this briefing in 2023.
Award for DCCR’s Clive Taylor
A member of the DCCR team has won an accolade for his work on the programme.
Clive Taylor, Devon ICS Digital Transformation Team Project Manager, was ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Individual Award’ category at the NHS Devon Exceptional People Awards in December 2022.
Clive played a key role in the planning, development and launch of the DCCR last year.
His nomination read: “Clive used his collaborative skills to drive work on the shared care record, which makes care safer by allowing healthcare professionals to see all the information they need in one place.
“He dealt with a huge number of stakeholders and delivered phase one in what his colleagues describe as an outstanding achievement.”
Find out more about the DCCR
The programme team has produced a range of resources to help staff and patients find out more about the DCCR. These include a:
- Quick guide to the DCCR – basic details about the programme.
- Patient communication toolkit – a suite of marketing materials to help organisations inform their patients and service users about the DCCR and its benefits.
- (You can download the quick guide and patent toolkit from the DCCR resource at https://teamnet.clarity.co.uk/Topics/ViewItem/1094ad0c-9866-4b4d-9336-aefc00e206a3)
- Website – information about the DCCR for patients and health and care staff. The site can be found at https://devonandcornwallcarerecord.nhs.uk/
- Training website – supports staff of participating organisations in the use of the DCCR platform. The site includes user guides and short videos and can be found at https://elearning.cornwall.nhs.uk/?p=site/m/devon-and-cornwall-care-record
Spread the word and get in touch
Please forward this email to any colleagues who might be interested in knowing more about the Devon and Cornwall Care Record. And if you have any questions about the programme or would like to find out more, email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org