The Digital Discharge programme helps health organisations and councils across the region to share patient information more seamlessly and deliver a more efficient discharge process to both the NHS and social care. Led by Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) and in place between Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTR) the programme has been named ‘Best Communication Solution’ at the 2019 Health Tech Digital Awards. The Health Tech Digital Awards recognise the best technologies across the UK.

An integral part of the Digital Discharge pathway is the Local Person Record Exchange Service (LPRES) which gives health and care professionals instant access to shared health and care records across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Ailsa Brotherton, Director of Continuous Improvement at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “As part of this project, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council have been contributing to LPRES – a shared care record system. This enables important information about a patient to move faster and more efficiently to the right person at the right time, ensuring the best of care and a better journey for patients through and out of the hospital.

“This Digital Discharge project is the first in the region where Lancashire and South Cumbria shared care record system has been used to automatically link social care and health care information together. This ability to link and share key information more quickly and efficiently will ensure that relevant teams and services become aware of patient needs instantly. We are confident that this more seamless service will reduce the time a patient needs to stay in hospital, improving patient experience, whilst ensuring we make the most efficient use of our hospital beds.”

The benefits of this new Digital Discharge service include:

  • Ensuring patients receive the care from the most appropriate professionals in the most suitable location
  • Reduce the length of stay in hospital for patients in need of adult social care services
  • Improved information sharing and referrals across services
  • Timely and complete discharge information for those caring for patients including GPs, social care and acute hospitals.

Tony Pounder, Director of Adult Services at Lancashire County Council said: “This award is great recognition for the work that technical and operational colleagues working for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council have successfully completed over the last year.

“It has posed a series of novel technical challenges demanding considerable ingenuity to solve – ultimately successfully. It’s also required the establishment of strong partnerships across teams and organisations to properly coordinate the ideas and actions of so many people.”

“We hope to see Digital Discharge rolled out across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria and beyond that to the wider integration of health and social care record systems and workflow in the near future.”

Dr Amanda Thornton, Digital Health Clinical Lead for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria said: “One of the priorities for us is to take advantage of digital innovations to make our information systems work more effectively.

“This programme is a fantastic example of the ways in which we can work in partnership and use technology to improve the experiences of local people and staff. We hope to see more successful programmes like this one in the future.

“Huge congratulations to everyone involved!”

The Local Person Record Exchange Service has been set up across Lancashire and South Cumbria as part of a shared digital health strategy, ‘Our Digital Future’. Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria is the name for the partnership of NHS, local councils, public sector, voluntary sector and community organisations working together as an Integrated Care System to improve health and care services and help the 1.7 million people in Lancashire and South Cumbria live longer healthier lives.

To find out more about plans for digital health across Lancashire and South Cumbria on the Our Digital Future website: