Working together to improve your care

By Dr Niruban Ratnarajah


We all know how annoying it is when you have to keep repeating yourself.

It is particularly frustrating – and can also be upsetting – when you are talking to health professionals.

That’s one of the reasons why organisations in Bolton pioneered what has now become the Greater Manchester Care Record.

The care record ensures that your vital health information can be accessed by frontline health and care staff wherever you are being treated in Greater Manchester. This includes things like up-to-date medical records, care plans, medication and test results.

It means GPs, hospital doctors, nurses and other professionals can deliver the safest and most effective care for you – without you having to repeat your story every time.

When Bolton introduced a local version of the care record in 2016, most people assumed that this was already happening in the NHS!

That wasn’t the case and I am proud that what we developed in Bolton is now benefitting health and care professionals – and ultimately patients – right across our region.

That’s because the more we know about your health needs, the more effective and seamless the care and treatment we can provide. This is particularly important as we deal with coronavirus.

As a GP, I regularly use the care record. Just last week I had a patient who had had a CT scan at hospital, but I hadn’t received the letter with her results. I was able to see her results on her care record so I could decide what treatment she needed.

Another GP practice in Bolton recently had a call from an elderly, confused patient. His GP was concerned that he had an infection but got no answer when he rung back.

Previously, the police would have been asked to visit the patient to check that he was OK. On this occasion, the GP was able to contact the patient’s son as his telephone number was on his care record.

If patients are unsure of the details of an upcoming hospital or community clinic appointment, we can check this on their care record. This reduces the amount of time our admin and reception staff have to spend ringing around.

Or A&E doctors can quickly access important medical information when patients are admitted.

These are just four examples; there will be countless others as more than 12,200 staff use the GM Care record to benefit up to 5,700 patients every day.

A huge effort has also been made to ensure that the way your data is processed is safe, legal and ethical.

Find out more about the GM Care Record.


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