Professionals have to share client information, Philp warns


Older people’s tsar Ian Philp has warned professionals
working in health and social care they will have to be more open
about sharing client information in the future, writes
Derren Hayes in Newcastle

In a wide-ranging and hard-hitting speech about development in
older people’s services at the National Social Services
Conference, Philp said one of the main challenges over the next few
years was to ensure “vested interests” did not get in the way of
service developments.

When pushed on what this meant, Philp singled out doctors for
particular criticism for taking what he called a “professional
protectionist” approach to passing on details of their

“The GP press is full of comments [from GPs] saying we
can’t share information about the care of our patients. This
is bulls**t,” Philp said.

“Everyone is protective, but we are breaking that down. I would
like everyone to sign up to the principle that it is the
person’s information and records so that eventually all
excuses start to disappear.”

He said the single assessment process – older
people’s care needs are assessed by a joint health and social
care multi-disciplinary team – was already beginning to
address the problem since inception last April.

Informal information-sharing already exists, so electronic
transfer shouldn’t be a problem as long as the system being
used is well-tested and secure, Philp explained.

He envisaged a system working in similar ways to the ones being
developed to enable health, social services and education
professionals to flag up child protection concerns, which would be
based firmly around clients giving their consent for information to
be shared.

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