Health and social care organisations in Derbyshire are working with Orion Health to meet the government’s target to have a shared care record in place by September – known in the contract jargon as the ‘minimum viable solution’.

Joined Up Care Derbyshire, an integrated care system covering Derby, Chesterfield, and surrounding areas, has signed a ten-year contract with Orion for its shared care record technology and Discover analytics platform, following a rapid procurement using the London Procurement Partnership framework.

It is now looking to move fast to give staff working at all its partner organisations access to the information held in an existing instance of the Medical Interoperability Gateway by March, and access to the data defined by NHSX as the minimum viable solution for a shared care record by September.

After that, it will look to develop the record to support joined up care, population health management approaches, and new digital services, working closely with local health and social care professionals, patients and the public.

Tracy Allen, the chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading on digital innovation for the Integrated Care System, said: “This is a really important step in generating much better integrated and streamlined records for local people. The contract with Orion enables us to begin to scope the way in which we might work, securely and safely, over the coming months.”

Joined Up Care Derbyshire started as a sustainability and transformation partnership and is committed to addressing inequalities, tackling the wider determinants of health, and delivering effective, joined-up care to help people “have the best start in life, stay well, age well, and die well.”

The Orion Health shared care record and analytics platform will support its work by making all the information available about an individual’s care available to professionals in one, secure place.

Unlike some of the early shared care records developed in England, social care will be included from day one, meaning that professionals have a holistic picture of a patient’s engagement with local services. It will also build in the Discover platform from the outset, so that it can start to capture the data that will be needed for future service planning and population health management.

Dawn Atkinson, head of programme for the Joined Up Care Derbyshire digital workstream, said: “All of the organisations that are working together in Joined Up Care Derbyshire were completely committed to this before Covid-19 happened, but the pandemic has really focused attention on how a joined-up, digital environment can benefit professionals and patients.

“As we went through the procurement process, we looked for a strategic partner to help us meet our immediate requirements but also to help us evolve. We have entered into a ten-year relationship with Orion Health and will be working with them to develop the best summary care record we can have.

“We want to pull together data sets so we can plan the best possible services and enable the professionals working in them to do their jobs more effectively. We want them to have the best data and information available on which to make decisions at the point of care, so they can deliver better outcomes and experience for patients and users.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement has announced that it wants to see integrated care systems established across the whole country from the start of April this year. In guidance issued last summer, ICSs should have a ‘basic’ shared care record in place by September.

NHSX has since defined a minimum viable solution for shared care records by this date, drawing on the work of the local health and social care record exemplars that were set up in 2018 to explore the art of the possible.

Orion Health is an established supplier of shared care records to health economies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, including Connecting Care in Bristol and the Dorset Care Record, which is part of the Wessex LHCRE.

Nadine Carey-Whitehead, sales director at Orion Health, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring our expertise in developing shared care records to Joined Up Care Derbyshire. We will need to draw on that to deliver on the ambitious go-live targets that have been set for March and September.

“We are confident of meeting them because all the organisations involved are committed to the project and in complete agreement that it is the right thing to do. Once we are live, we are looking forward to working in partnership with Joined Up Care Derbyshire to evolve the record and work on population health management.

“They know they have a real opportunity to leap ahead. We are looking forward to supporting them on that journey.”