Sharing social care data

We are working with partners in the health service to share some basic information that we hold about older people who are having their social care needs met by the Council, where those people live in Ashfield, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe. This information includes personal identification details (to enable matching), the type of care package being provided and whether the person lives in a care home. At the moment this information covers people who are aged 75 or more. Soon we will expand this to people aged 65 or more.

The NHS staff who are allowed to view and use this information are GPs and their staff (called primary care staff) and staff who work in community teams (including District Nurses, Community Matrons, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and other specialist nurses).

The reason that we have agreed to share this data with the NHS is that we believe that sharing it will help everyone to work better together around each individual person and make faster decisions about care and support needs. For example, it will mean that health staff are better informed when they come to visit a patient. Knowing that a person is already being supported by the Council helps to prevent an unnecessary referral. If the care and support being provided is no longer adequate, the health worker can suggest that it is time for a review. If the patient is struggling with personal care tasks or other social needs (such as loneliness or isolation) and is not known to the Council, then the health worker could discuss the benefits of being referred with the patient.

Previously, GPs would need to request details directly from social care teams, which could be time consuming. Under the new system, they will be able to access information themselves, at any time, through a secure portal called E-healthscope. We have the legal power to share this data, for direct care purposes.

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