Bedford Borough patients to benefit from joined-up health and care services

A stethoscope resting on doctor's (GP) notes
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Joined up health and care services is one of the benefits the new Integrated Care System for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes will bring.

That is according to a report presented to yesterday’s Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Monday, 6 June), which explained that through the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership councils, the NHS and voluntary and community organisations will be working together with local people to support and improve everyone’s health and wellbeing in the area.

Committee chair, councillor Graeme Coombes (Conservative, Wilshamstead Ward) wanted to know how the public will benefit from this change.

Maria Wogan, programme director, ICS Establishment, replied that one of the benefits is a less fragmented service.

“I’m sure your residents find themselves trying to navigate between different providers, and not necessarily understanding who provides what care,” she said.

“And having to repeat their story to multiple professionals coming into their homes and over time.

“The objective of this way of working is that we’re sharing information together, so patients don’t have to continually repeat their stories,” she said.

“We have a program of work, called the shared care record, where we are putting in place a bridge between the different IT systems in different providers.

“So not a whole new system, but a way of connecting the data so that professionals will be able to see information that’s coming from other providers, and not just their own,” she said.

Maria Wogan

Councillor Coombes put forward a theoretical example.

“Somebody has an accident, they collected by an ambulance and they’re taken to hospital.

“They’re treated, they referred on to some specialist treatment or a physiotherapy unit or something else like that, and then obviously their GP is involved.

“All of those different points will be joined up and the GP viewing the record will be able to see the whole patient journey from start to finish,” he asked.

“That’s the objective, ” Ms Wogan replied

Councillor Coombes replied: “It’s a worthy objective, I’d like to see it when it happens.

“But you must forgive my cynicism.”

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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