A Wessex bid, including Dorset has been chosen as one of three areas in the UK to become a Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE).

The aim of the LHCRE is to build upon the existing care record applications and give health and care staff more complete and faster access to information about the people in their care, whether they live in Dorset, Hampshire or the Isle of Wight.

Stephen Slough, Chief Information Officer at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This is great news for people in Dorset, and is another step in our journey to transform and improve services in the county using digital technology. We are excited to be working with our neighbours in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to continue the development of local shared health and care records for our residents, and take our solid working relationship to the next level.

“Thanks to the Dorset Care Record, we are already able to securely share records with health and care professionals around the county, and the LHCRE bid allows us to build on this and expand this service beyond the county line to link up with Hampshire’s Care and Health Information Exchange (CHIE).

“It’s also great news for people staying within Wessex for university, or travelling across the area on holiday as it will form the basis of our ability to connect as needed to complete detailed records for visitors needing care.”

Andy Hadley, Head of IT Development at Dorset CCG, said “It’s an honour to be one of the first three LHCRE areas announced by NHS England. It will enable us to work with key players nationally to use digital innovation to improve health and care services to our population. Together, we are developing the blueprint that could allow other areas across the UK to securely collaborate with record sharing.

“Because of the flow of patients across the border between Dorset and Hampshire, our bid will help provide seamless care for West Hampshire residents accessing Dorset services, and for Dorset residents who need specialist treatment at Southampton.

“It means that people spend less time repeating their story to different health and care professionals, and that those professionals will have all the information they need at their fingertips to give people the right care, quickly. It’s very exciting that we will be able to provide this level of service to Dorset residents, wherever they need care in the Wessex area, and over time, in other areas too.”

A joint statement from the Wessex partnership was released on 24 May, and can be read on the NHS England website.

More information on LHCREs can also be found on the NHS England website.