2014 the Care Quality Commission, Public Health England and others announced
all NHS patient and care records must be digital, real-time and interoperable
But for health and social care providers in
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight those plans held no terror. They’d been on that
path since 2003, thanks to services provided by SCW and its predecessors.
The challenge had been how to share data from
separate sources – data controlled by GPs, hospitals, community services and
others – in a way which was safe and compliant but still effective.
The goal was a system which allows prompt access to
medical and social care information at point-of-care and prevents duplication
“This system really was the first of its kind. At
the beginning there was some reluctance from individuals and organisations
about sharing their data,” said SCW’s operational manager William Baird.
“By 2014 that reluctance was being challenged with
people starting to be asked ‘You need to share, so why aren’t you sharing?’”
It started with 1,000 patient records but expanded
to 1 million within two years. Within a decade that had almost doubled again as more
providers and commissioning bodies came on board.
William added: “At the point 60% of the region’s GP
practices were sharing data most local organisations agreed they should also be
Today the region’s Care and Health Information
Exchange (CHIE), operated by SCW, hosts 2million+ patient records which are accessed
over 90,000 times per month. The number of unique users rose by around a
quarter in 2020 alone.