One year on, many Londoners are benefiting from personalised care and support with the Universal Care Plan

One year on from the launch of the Universal Care Plan across London over 24,000 new care plans have been created on the platform and frontline staff viewed care plans over 300,000 times. This is helping to ensure people get better personalised care and support and that their care preferences are respected.

The Universal Care Plan (UCP) was launched a year ago and was deployed in just seven months. It is a dynamic integrated care planning solution that enables every Londoner to have their key health and social care information, support network, and preferences for wishes about their care digitally shared with healthcare professionals across the Capital. The technology, implemented by OneLondon and provided by Better, a leading supplier of openEHR technology, supports a population of approximately 10 million people, five Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), more than 40 NHS trusts, 1,400 general practices, and 33 local authorities.

Initially supporting End-of-Life Care planning, which is an area that often falls below expectations across England, according to a report by The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, the Universal Care Plan enables critical patient choice information to be captured and shared easily across all point-of-care systems. It is helping to ensure that more patients receive the care and outcomes they desire when they reach the end of their life including being able to die in their preferred setting.

Previously, care plans were not consistently connected or accessible between care providers. However, with the implementation of the Universal Care Plan through Better's open digital health platform, patient care and treatment preferences can now be easily viewed by health and care professionals across London's vast health and care network. 

More than 24,000 new personalised care plans have now been created, and health professionals have viewed care plans over 300,000 times. The high levels of usage are a result of the integration with the major systems in use across London care providers, including the London Care Record, EMIS, SystmOne, Cleric ePCR, and Adastra. Further integrations are either underway or in the planning stages for Epic, Rio, and Cerner Millennium. 

This year, the Universal Care Plan will integrate with the NHS App to allow patients access to their care plans and to link with GP Connect in order to provide access to medication and allergies data. Work is also underway to launch the platform within the National Record Locator this year. This means that Londoners with a UCP care plan will have their preferences and wishes of care accessible to urgent care services regardless of location in England. 

While the UCP currently supports pathways for urgent and end-of-life care, following its success and positive feedback from healthcare staff, the clinical networks across London are engaged to expand its use to other areas of care including supporting patients with diabetes, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. There are also extensive opportunities across many other areas, including sickle cell disease and asthma, and for supporting patients with frailty, mental health needs, learning disabilities, and autism, as well as for supporting children and young people. 

The ultimate goal is to provide better, digitalised healthcare for all conditions and population groups across all health services and enable personalised care planning for patients across London. 

Murrae Tolson, Programme Director, Universal Care Plan, said: "This is a remarkable achievement that not only enables more individuals access to personalised care and support when they need it most, but it also gives healthcare practitioners the confidence that they are acting in line with their patients' wishes. Together, we have harnessed the potential of technology to facilitate compassionate care, ensuring that a patient's choice remains paramount."

Joseph Fraser, Head of personalised Care Expansion in London, NHS England said: “The Universal Care Plan has the potential to fundamentally change the way that treatment and care is delivered in the NHS. It will stop patients having to repeat their story for every clinician they see, but it’s impact is far greater than that. For the first time, patients will find that every clinician they see knows who they are, how they want to live their lives, how they can help, and what other support might be needed. This is an opportunity to move away from a narrow acute clinical model that treats one condition at a time, to a holistic approach that acknowledges the complexity of people’s lives and addresses those challenges in partnership. For people with Long Term Conditions, this will enable a much higher quality of care suited to their needs, better outcomes, and higher value engagement with healthcare. In short, the Universal Care Plan is the foundation stone of an NHS that’s fit for challenges of the 21st Century.”

Gary McAllister, Chief Technology Officer and National Executive Director for Technology Strategy, Architecture and Standards at NHS England and OneLondon, said:“Just in its first year the Universal Care Plan has already made a huge positive difference to the lives of so many people in the Capital. It really showcases how technology can transform healthcare for the benefit of the public and I am excited at how OneLondon and Better will develop this further over the years ahead. The UCP platform provides almost endless opportunities so it is great that work has already begun to look at how this might also support people with dementia, frailty, diabetes, sickle cell and other long-term conditions.”

Alastair Allen, Chief Technology Officer at Better, said: “The new shared care planning technology, underpinned by open health data and supported by low-code tools, marks a significant milestone in transforming London's digital care planning services. By standardising the way information is captured and providing end users with data modelling tools, we have unlocked the ability for health and care organisations to build dynamic care planning applications and share data in real-time across the capital. We are excited to witness how the Better platform will continue to support Londoners, their families, and professionals alike. By leveraging the power of this technology, we are empowering the healthcare ecosystem to provide more efficient, personalised, and compassionate care to those in need."

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