Matthew Gould, Chief Executive Designate of the newly formed NHSX, has officially opened the new home of the Great North Care Record.

Matthew, who was recently appointed to the role, was guest of honour at the Great North Care Record’s offices at North East Futures University Technical College (UTC) in Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter.

During his visit Matthew took a tour of the building and spoke to employees to find out more about their work in revolutionising the region’s digital health technology.

NHSX’s role is to oversee technology, digital and data policy nationally across the NHS.

As part of a nationwide tour, Matthew Gould visited the Great North Care Record in a bid to understand more about the technological challenges facing North East and North Cumbria and how sharing patient data could support health and care in our region.

Great North Care Record, which has received investment from the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), recently moved from its previous offices at Newcastle Helix to the North East Futures UTC, a brand new state-funded technical school specialising in IT and Healthcare Science for 14-19 year olds.

North East Futures UTC has been supported by the AHSN NENC since its inception, with the organisation forming part of the Steering Group that developed the business case for the school. The AHSN NENC is an industry sponsor of the school and Dr Nicola Wesley, Deputy CEO of the AHSN NENC, and Stephanie Walton, Director of Finance, are members of the Local Governing Board.

Set up over three years ago, the Great North Care Record is a new way of sharing patient information electronically across the North East and North Cumbria to improve treatment and save lives.

Currently viewed over 100,000 times a month and accessed by 100% of GPs in our region, the shared care record is already revolutionising the way that medical information is passed between health and care organisations.

It means that potentially life-saving key information on patients’ health – such as diagnoses, medication, hospital; admissions and treatments – can be shared securely to help patients receive the care they need more quickly.

In the not-too distant future, information recorded in hospital systems, which is currently not easily shared, will be transferred to GPs and other health and care organisations.

Around 3.6million patients living in the North East and North Cumbria will be able to set their own sharing preferences with healthcare planners, researchers and other organisations involved in their care.

Professor Joe McDonald, Consultant Psychiatrist at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the Great North Care Record, said: “It’s an honour to welcome Matthew to our new home and it’s very fitting that he should be the one to officially open our new offices at North East Futures UTC.

“We’re pleased that Matthew has taken the time to visit and find out more about the challenges facing our region, and grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate what the Great North Care Record is all about. Digital transformation is integral to the future success of our NHS and it’s something that we believe passionately about.

“By sharing patient information across GP, hospitals and other services at the point of need, medical professionals can see patient records immediately, allowing them to make quicker and better clinical decisions – saving them time, speeding up treatment and potentially saving lives.”

Matthew Gould, NHX Chief Executive Designate, said: “It’s been fascinating to see how the North East and North Cumbria is tackling the issues around sharing patient data, safely and securely. I have seen throughout my tour of the NHS frontline across the country the impact that lack of access to data has on patients and clinicians. The North East and North Cumbria has solved some of the challenges around sharing data and by putting patients in charge – really enables the benefits of data sharing to be realised.”