Published on: 28th May 2020

Health and care organisations across Greater Manchester have accelerated the deployment of a GM Care Record for all 2.8m citizens to provide frontline professionals with vital information in the fight against COVID-19.

The GM Care Record collates information held by different health and care organisations to ensure that GPs, doctors, nurses and practitioners can see up-to-date medical records, care plans, medications and test results to inform the right care and treatment.

It means that patients won’t have to keep repeating their medical history to each professional, clinicians will be better equipped to identify patterns and care will be planned more effectively to meet patients’ needs.

This builds on the existing borough-based care records that are in place already and will now create a single joined-up care record for all of GM. The system has been developed by tech company Graphnet, which specialises in developing health and care IT solutions.

In response to the pandemic, the GM Care Record also includes information about when a patient has been tested or diagnosed with COVID-19 to ensure continuity of care across different care settings.

The project has been overseen by Health Innovation Manchester and the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, working on behalf of GM’s devolved health and care partners. Rapid progress has been made in weeks rather than months as part of the city region’s COVID-19 digital response plan and collaborative effort.

Dr Tom Tasker, a GP and Chair of both the GM Joint Commissioning Board and Salford CCG, commented: 

It has been a great achievement to move forward with the GM Care Record at such pace and scale, with commissioners, GPs and providers working together in the best interest of patients. Providing health and care professionals with access to this information is essential in the fight against COVID-19 and ensuring continuity across care pathways.”

The ability to share data through the GM Care Record is backed by a GM-wide approach to data protection and information sharing in accordance with national guidance, such as defining under which circumstances professionals can access the record.

As well as being able to access information for direct care, anonymised data in relation to COVID-19 will also be used for research and planning purposes to gain a greater understanding of COVID-19, how best to tackle it and the type of services that needs to be in place. This will be overseen by an expert group including members of the public, researchers and clinical leaders.