Great North Care Record – Working together to support regional data sharing

The Great North Care Record (GNCR) is using the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) to create one shared care record for patients across the North East and North Cumbria.


Connected Health Cities North East and North Cumbria, facilitate the GNCR project, which aims to create an effective way of sharing patient records safely and more effectively.

“Care records are like a fragmented jigsaw puzzle with large chunks of information held at GP surgeries, in A&E, on the ward, but they don’t all work together. We’ve done lots of patient research, with many surprised that information isn’t easily shareable. Our ambition is to find ways of linking patient care in multiple care settings.” Professor Joe McDonald, Consultant Psychiatrist at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Connected Health Cities Director.

GNCR uses the MIG to connect existing hospital and GP clinical systems. The MIG is compatible with any type of system, making it the best solution for electronic record sharing between different healthcare settings.

What did they do?

The project took five months to complete and went live in April 2017. 357 GP surgeries (96%) have signed up to share their records and the MIG has been rolled out to 14 consuming organisations. This includes North East Ambulance Service and 111, eight foundation trusts, two mental health trusts and three GP out of hours care providers.

Once consent has been provided by the patient, health and social care practitioners can now use the Detailed Care Record (DCR) service to view real time extracts of information from the patient’s GP record.

How have they benefitted?

The MIG has become an integral part of the GNCR, which is being accessed by frontline staff more than 25,000 times per month.

Faster care

Using the MIG to share vital patient information electronically, has reduced the delays associated with telephone and fax correspondence. This has created more time for consultations and helped practitioners to deliver efficient care for more than three million patients.

“We have seen real benefits since we implemented this shared health care record. We can now access key medical information about most patients arriving in our Emergency Department. We know the information is up to date and it means that we can treat our patients more efficiently and safely.” Dr Phil Stamp, Accident and Emergency Consultant from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Increased accuracy of care

The MIG presents the most up to date medical information, which includes the patient’s medication, risks and investigations. This has helped to increase the accuracy of care and reduced duplicate testing.

“There have been numerous occasions with patients saying that they think they are allergic to something but unsure what. A quick check in the MIG helps steer an appropriate prescription. There was also an occasion where a patient presented with apparent low blood pressure but upon checking the medical records in the MIG it turned out there were other equally low blood pressure records, so this avoided unnecessary extra investigations.” Dr Phil Stamp, Accident and Emergency Consultant from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Being able to share a patient’s medication history has also helped North East Ambulance Service.

“Sometimes the caller won’t remember which medication they are taking. The MIG provides a list of the patient’s medication (current and past), which saves time and ensures safe decisions are made. Nurses say this is one of the most helpful things with the MIG”. Paul Nicholson, Assistant Director of IM&T, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

More informed diagnosis

Clinicians with access to the GNCR have also benefited from the patient summary provided by the MIG. The patient summary presents an overview of the patient’s most recent care, which can help the clinician to diagnose new symptoms and conditions.

“In a recent GP consultation, an elderly lady presented new confusion and clinched the need for an urgent CT scan request. Although the CT was normal, the MIG entry of a recent head injury helped expedite care and narrow down the diagnosis to infection as the likely cause of confusion”. Dr Phil Stamp, Accident and Emergency Consultant from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

What’s next?

The implementation of the MIG was the first step for the GNCR project. They are now looking to engage with local authorities and use the MIG to connect with social care settings. The GNCR is also looking to join up with the North East and North Cumbria universities to support clinical research.

Find out more

To arrange an online demonstration or to find out how the MIG is being used in your area, please call 0845 601 2642.