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Shared care record helps Black Country make faster safeguarding decisions

Shared care record helps Black Country make faster safeguarding decisions
By Julie Griffiths
7 June 2024

Access to a shared care record across the Black Country has made it faster and easier for multi-agency safeguarding hubs (MASH) to make safeguarding decisions about vulnerable adults and children. 

The One Health and Care shared care record brings together separate records held by different local providers of health and social care – such as hospitals and GPs – in one secure format. 

Where there are concerns about significant harm to a child, MASH requires information from GPs, hospitals, social care, and other organisations to make joint decisions about appropriate interventions.

In the past, gathering information could take several days as MASH teams relied on phone and email responses from GPs, hospitals, and other third parties.

Now, with the shared care record, it is instant.

An evaluation of the shared care record in Walsall, one of the four MASH teams in the Black Country, revealed 100% of MASH nurses said it assists in gathering GP health information more quickly than before. And 100% said that it enables them to collate a broader range of health information.

Access to the shared care record first went live for the MASH team at Walsall Metropolitan Council in April 2023. Soon after, the other MASH teams at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, and the City of Wolverhampton Council followed suit.

Maria Kilcoyne, associate director of nursing for safeguarding and partnerships at NHS Black Country ICB, said it is ‘critical’ for MASH teams to make ‘informed decisions in a timely manner’.

She said: ‘Depending on the level of perceived risk, provision of information within tight time constraints is essential to multi-agency decision making. That means we need to get our hands on health and care information about the individual very quickly. The shared care record means we have all of the right information at the right time.’

Lesa Robinson, assistant designated nurse safeguarding children and adults, Walsall, described the shared care record as ‘a gamechanger’.

‘For example, we know how important it is to view healthcare attendances that may have taken place outside of someone’s usual area. With the shared care record, we can see all of those different acute trust attendances.

‘The record also crosses over with the surrounding regions – Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, and Shropshire Telford and Wrekin – which gives us even greater visibility,’ she said.

The plan is to continue enhancing and extending how One Health and Care is used to protect and support vulnerable people.

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