Islington patients could have medical records on facebook style app

Dr Katie Coleman, vice chair of Islington CCG

Dr Katie Coleman, vice chair of Islington CCG - Credit: Archant

Patients in Islington will be able to access their medical records through their mobile phones like Facebook, if a clinical commissioning group (CCG) initiative is successful.

The borough’s CCG is working on a system that would allow service users to carry their own medical histories and show them to whoever they choose.

They say it will help synchronise the care of patients who see several different doctors who are often unable to access previous test results and reports from other medics.

Islington is one of several areas looking at pioneering the scheme, which would also require interoperability – allowing the flow of data to be sent between all the organisations commissioned by the CCG.

Dr Katie Coleman, a GP and vice-chairman of Islington CCG, said: “The holy grail of system interoperability has been sought for many years, but to date no systems-wide solution has been implemented. What tends to happen is people don’t just see one provider, they need to access lots of different parts of the system.

“What you want to happen is you want your data, your information about your story, to move with you – sometimes that doesn’t happen.

“We want to ensure that when they move their information moves with them – this is all about empowering people and putting them at the centre of their care.”

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The plan could see a personally held record on smart phones, which Dr Coleman said would have strict privacy controls similar to those used for mobile banking to protect patient data.

Dr Coleman also said that patients who might not have the technological know-how to use this service could entrust others who care for them with their records.

“We know that large swathes of our population use smartphones or a tablet, but if you are perhaps elderly and don’t, then the chances are you’re going to have a child or family member who can help make sure your care is well managed.

“You would be able to choose people to be able to access your records in a similar way as you choose who sees things on a facebook page.

“I think in the same way that you’re very sensitive about your bank records it should be the same with your health records.”

It is estimated the project could take three years to build at a cost of £3.5million with an overall projected cost of £10.8m over 10 years.

Islington Council would contribute £600,000 while the CCG have applied for a grant of £1.7m from NHS England.