Leeds develops Person Held Record for care

City council and local NHS organisations work on a self-support digital tool based on the Ripple Foundation’s open source platform

A partnership of organisations in Leeds has begun to pilot the use of a platform on which people can use their personal information in managing their own care.

Ripple Foundation logoLeeds City Council is working with NHS bodies in the city and the Ripple Foundation – which the council set up to create a platform for re-use by other authorities – on the Person Held Record (PHR).

It marks a further development in the Ripple project, in which the foundation has used elements from the Leeds Care Record – which supports the integration of health and social care in the city – to create an open source alternative to proprietary systems for use by other authorities.

In phase one of the project, people will be able to register, verify their identity and log in to their PHR. A spokesperson for Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group, which is involved in the project, told UKAuthority that it is still working on which method of verification will be most appropriate.

Users will then be able to add and update information about themselves, including three top details. This will be free text format so they will have the freedom to make their own choice on what to include.

The spokesperson said this suggestion came from an engagement with care professionals in the city, but that information could include key contacts, demographic data and details of medications, allergies, letters and appointments.

Professionals' access

The tool is aimed primarily at the public, but care professionals with the right levels of accrediation will be able to see the key information.

Dr Jason Broch, GP partner at Oakwood Lane Medical Practice and chair of the Leeds Informatics Board, said: “Patients need to access their record to allow them to understand their health and wellbeing better and input their own information to take a more active role. It is the missing piece of the jigsaw towards truly integrated care. In Leeds we believe a Person Held Record will be central to this change.”

The organisations also hope that developers will respond by creating apps to work with the platform, conforming to the standards set. A statement said it would make it possible for users to personalise the information to deal with specific conditions and create a more joined up view.

Dr Tony Shannon, director at Ripple Foundation, added: “Healthcare is suffering from an underperforming health IT sector which makes it harder for care professionals to work with their patients efficiently and effectively. By building their Person Held Record on an open platform, in line with the international open EHR standard, Leeds has started a transformational move to future proof its healthcare IT systems.