Information sharing and interoperability in social care

With funding from the Local Health and Care Record programme, the LGA commissioned Socitm to carry out a discovery project to help understand progress and challenges in information sharing across the sector.


Background

Over the last few years progress has been made by local areas and councils in information sharing within social care.

Increasingly local areas are joining up information so that health and care professionals have access to the information they need so that people do not need to tell their story more than once.

Local areas are also exploring opportunities to give people access to their own information and access this through the device and applications they choose.

However, we have heard from councils that there remain significant barriers in information sharing. Councils have told us that information is not as easy to share as it could be.

The Department of Health and Social Care published at the end of 2018 a technology vision which includes a commitment towards tackling barriers to information sharing. The adoption of open standards that enable information to be shared in an easy and accessible way is one of the commitments to this.

Local Health and Care Record Programme

The Local Health and Care Record programme has been launched across the country to help join up information across health and social care.

Eight regions have been funded by NHS England / NHSX to lead on this and across many of those areas councils are playing an important role to ensure that information is joined up around the individual.

The LGA has been working with a group of councils over the last few months to take a sector approach to information sharing. You can find out more about the Local Government LHCR network below.

Information sharing and discovery

With funding from the Local Health and Care Record programme, the LGA commissioned Socitm to carry out a discovery project to help understand progress and challenges in information sharing across the sector.

The discovery involved 13 sessions with 36 councils between January and April 2019. In addition engagement took place with six system vendors alongside a workshop with national and professional bodies.

Find out more

Information sharing discovery report – Executive summary and full report

Socitm was commissioned by the LGA in 2018/19 with funding from NHS England to undertake a discovery project with councils on information sharing in social care.

Predominantly engagement took place with councils from regions involved in the Local Health and Care Record programme. The report sets out the findings and makes eleven recommendations to support the sector in this area.

Local government social care data standards and interoperability

Local Government LHCR Network

The Local Government Local Health and Care Record (LHCR) network is a group of councils that have come together to share good practice and help overcome challenges to information sharing. The group is chaired by Local CIO Council Chair Dylan Roberts and consists of representative councils from across the eight LHCR regions as well as national bodies including NHS Digital, NHSX and LGA.

NHS Digital Social Care Programme

A number of local information sharing and interoperability projects are being funded through NHS Digital through the social care programme. These are intended to support local information sharing and set the foundation for information sharing with other local areas can use.

This work includes:

  • sharing assessment and discharge information between hospitals and social care
  • improving sharing of social care information to feed into local health and care records
  • improving information sharing within and between social care providers.