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New standards for integrating key health and social care information will ensure services can work together better to provide more personalised care, according to NHS Digital.

The new national standards have been introduced to ensure that information is recorded and shared in a clear and consistent way across health and social care. This means healthcare professionals will have a full picture of a person’s needs, enabling them to provide safer and individually tailored care.

The social care standards have been commissioned and led by NHS Digital and produced by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).

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More than 1,000 people, including frontline health workers, patients and carers, helped develop the new standards as part of a consultation which also involved clinical and professional groups, charities, suppliers and researchers.

The five new standards will ensure important personal details, such as the need for additional social care support after a person’s hospital stay, will be recorded and shared with their care team.

Other important non-medical information can also be included, such as a photo and details about work, family or friends, or the ways a person usually behaves when they are in good physical and mental health. This will provide professionals with a better understanding of the person, not just their illness or condition.

The new standards cover: the personal details that the patient would like to be recorded about themselves, health and care information shared in care home, information shared by councils, referrals for community assessments for care and support after a hospital stay, and the urgent information needed when a person is transferred to hospital from a care home.

James Palmer, Head of the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “The development of these standards marks a major step forward for social care, supporting better care for service users and wider use of shared digital records across the UK.

“Several areas across the UK have already begun implementing the standards, resulting in improvements to wellbeing and health and care. The learning from these pilots will be shared across the country.”

The development of the standards is part of NHS Digital’s Digital Social Care Pathfinders Programme, in which funding to roll out local digital projects has been awarded to 16 organisations which provide and commission adult social care services.

Having previously piloted products and services, the pathfinders are now implementing them on a larger scale, many using these standards to support interoperability.

The new standards for information shared by local authorities and ‘about me’ will be incorporated into the existing shared record standard, known as the core information standard, which was published in 2019.

The other standards will be published separately here 

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