We are collaborating in the Connected Health Cities programme in the North West Coast, to develop a Learning Health System.
This is an exciting programme of work to demonstrate how bring data together from different parts of the NHS and linking it, can lead to improved services.
The work is part of a Northern-wide Connected Health Cities pilot project with national funding secured by the Northern Health Science Alliance. There are three other Connected Health Cities pilot programmes in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and North East and North Cumbria. More information can be found at: www.connectedhealthcities.org.
In the North West Coast, this programme is being delivered by a core group of organisations - the Innovation Agency, AIMES Grid Services, the University of Liverpool and Lancaster University; we also have a network of clinical colleagues across the NHS, engaging with this work.
Our focus is on using this linked data to map pathways of care and improve prevention and treatment of three pathways in the first instance - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Alcohol-related Illnesses and Epilepsy. By connecting the information and knowledge held by the NHS, social care and other local authority services, systems can be planned and delivered more effectively.
Our Public Involvement and Engagement Senate is active in participating in discussions about the work. The Senate is made up of interested citizens and patients.
Our aims through Connected Health Cities are to:
- Make information available to front line staff in timely ways that enable them to better plan, review and adjust the care they offer and develop and monitor new and/or more effective pathways
- Develop a model for connecting and engaging people with expertise and experience from across the health, social, local government, voluntary, commercial and public sectors to turn data into information into knowledge
- Harness the power of data and data analytics by collecting, linking and collating data from health and social care and eventually also from a wide range of other sources – putting in place the permissions and systems needed to enable novel uses of data to transform care
- Support industry, academia and others in using data to conduct research that both improves understanding of health care efficiency and effectiveness but also enables new techniques, ideas and organisational forms to be tested.
- Create a sharing environment that enlists the trust, and active involvement, of North West Coast citizens
Development of learning health system for unplanned care
For people with long terms conditions such as COPD and epilepsy, better coordinated health and social care will improve patient outcomes and the efficiency with which services are delivered; reduce emergency department attendances, hospital admissions and duration of stay. It is likely that solutions in chronic diseases like COPD and epilepsy may be transferable to other conditions.
Those who do attend emergency departments will have more coordinated onward access to community, social and out-patient services.
Development of learning health system for alcohol misuse
There are more than 60 conditions linked to alcohol misuse and they involve many different pathways and place a major burden on the NHS and other services.
Alcohol conditions are often accompanied by complex social issues involving unemployment, poor housing and homelessness; family issues; domestic violence; plus road traffic accidents and crime.
Improving the way information is collected, analysed and shared between agencies and service users will bring opportunities for new ways to respond collectively. Front-line teams will have better, more timely access to information which will inform point-of-care decisions and service planning.