Ed Ranson is a patient at Garswood GP Surgery and with his role as PPG Chair for the surgery has had the chance to find out about the St Helens Shared Care Record and how this will benefit him as a patient and healthcare professionals – both at the surgery and in other health and care organisations across St Helens
“I really think the Shared Care Record is important and I can see how it will make a real difference to the care and treatment patients like myself receive.
“In 2016, prior to being diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was booked in to have a template biopsy which had to be carried out under general anaesthetic and had my pre-op appointment and with the necessary blood and urine samples taken at St Helens Hospital. A few days later I had a call from my GP surgery as some antibiotics had arrived for me there. It turned out that the urine sample showed that I had a water infection so I began taking the week long course of tablets ready to go back for my biopsy in a few days. My GP didn’t know about it and had to ask his receptionist to spend time making calls to chase up the information.
“On the day of the operation I was ready in a gown and told the consultant casually as an aside that I’d been put on a course of antibiotics for the infection. He had to immediately cancel the planned biopsy. He hadn’t known about this and couldn’t operate under those circumstances.
"If the Shared Care Record had been in use then, my GP surgery would have been able to see what the medication that arrived was for and my consultant surgeon wouldn’t have wasted both our times as he would have been able to see in advance that he couldn’t operate and someone else could have been treated in my slot instead. If I hadn’t happened to mention it in passing, who knows if it had been dangerous and could have led to other problems?
"Just this simple medication story makes it clear that the Shared Care Record has clear advantages. A receptionist won’t have to chase letters or information as it will be all on screen in my shared notes. A surgeon won’t operate on a patient with an infection he’s not aware of and that slot on his list won’t go to waste and patients won’t go through unnecessary stress and worry of a cancelled operation and have assurance that all doctors can see all their health and medication notes and can make an informed treatment decision.
"I feel really reassured that this is going to make a massive difference to not only patients- making their care and treatment safer and a better experience, but I can see real benefits for my GP, his practice staff, staff at the hospital and people working in social care – who will get to see the whole picture of a patient. Especially if someone comes into A&E and is unable to speak to the staff.
"Health and care professionals sharing data too in this way doesn’t worry me as I can see the reasons behind it – in fact I see it as a massive plus – and that social workers can talk to health care workers and vice versa about a person without worrying
"I’ll certainly be giving reassurance to the patients in my surgery that the Shared Care Record is a great system, well thought through and will make a real difference to patients and health and care professionals in St Helens."