31 January 2022

A new digital platform which has been introduced at Royal Papworth Hospital is improving patient care and saving time for healthcare staff. 

GP Connect allows, with the appropriate consent in place, authorised hospital staff to view a patient's full GP record from any practice in England. This includes appointments, medications, vaccinations, referrals and other key clinical information. 

Having this readily available means doctors and nurses can make better, more informed decisions about a patient’s treatment, saving them time and increasing efficiency, leading to improved care and outcomes for patients.

“If a patient has consented, GP Connect shows a complete view of their GP record, available across different IT systems,” explained Royal Papworth Hospital project manager Anne Dorrell.

“This is an exciting step forward to collaborate with GPs across England to provide excellent care through higher data quality.

“We are the first Trust to roll this out for Lorenzo, which is our electronic patient record system, and will now be leading the way for other organisations. 

“Since ‘going live’ in November we have received a lot of positive feedback from staff who say it has been a hugely useful resource for patient care.”

A man in a shirt with sleeves rolled up looking at a computer screen.
Dr Johnson, CMIO, says GP Connect has made a 'real difference'.

One patient group which is benefiting from the new software is those with cystic fibrosis, a lifelong, inherited lung condition

Royal Papworth Hospital is a regional centre for adults with CF, caring for 380 patients from multiple counties across the East of England and beyond. 

“With patients spanning a large geographical area, GP Connect has been a great addition for us,” said Samantha Henman, Lead Nurse for Cystic Fibrosis.

“We have used it straightaway for when are monitoring our patients after starting a new medication. This requires bloods taken either here or with their GP much closer to home and we are often waiting for or chasing blood results over multiple counties. We can now for some patients look up the results ourselves, saving our time and also the precious time of our GP colleagues across the system.” 

Dr Dorothy Grogono is a consultant respiratory physician who also cares for long-term lung patients.

“Being able to see repeat medications and GP blood tests in a very user-friendly way is great. GP Connect is a really useful tool to now have available to further improve the patient care we provide.” 

Dr Chris Johnson, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Chief Medical Information Officer, concluded: “This is a great example of using NHS standards-based technology to connect previously siloed clinical systems and allow important information to flow.

“GP connect has made a real difference to what we do, transforming the delivery of frontline care. Thank you to our digital team at Royal Papworth, NHS Digital and our technology provider Dedalus for collaborating on this project.”

A screen grab from a web page
GP Connect is accessed from the electronic patient record

Patients can opt not to share their data, which is managed by the GP Practice. Equally, individual practices can opt not to share any of their patients’ records. 

A patient may also exclude an individual encounter with their GP, which means any medications, diagnoses or referrals from that entry will not be available within GP Connect. 

More information on GP Connect from NHS Digital.