Information sharing is intrinsic to the future success of the NHS and social care

“Getting standards used that enable communication between care teams in different care settings and people is an overwhelming priority. It is hugely encouraging to see that others have come to the same conclusion and the momentum to adopt standards is becoming unstoppable.”

Success in numbers

Front-line staff and people who use services participated in our consultations to develop standards in the past year.

Published more standards than ever

Six in 2021-22 – with a world class suite of personalised care standards that put the tools in the hands of professionals and people.

Gained 30 partner organisations – collaborating with suppliers to realise the vision for connecting and transforming health and care.

"As an organisation representing Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, PRSB is committed to developing standards that support heath and care across the UK so that information flows with people regardless of geographical boundaries."

Prof. Maureen Baker, Chair of PRSB

Highlights and Achievements

Everything we produce and deliver at PRSB is entirely dependent on collaboration, consultation and shared communication. To do this, we strive to create effective working relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders, all of whom are important to our work.

The PRSB Standards Partnership Scheme

Launched in February 2021, the scheme provides health and care software suppliers with practical support that enables and encourages interoperability through the implementation of information standards.

PRSB Membership

We strive to create effective working relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders. We are delighted with the progress we have made in 2021 in strengthening and improving these relationships. 

UK-wide Standards

PRSB is committed to developing standards for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland because information should flow digitally to every care setting.

PRSB Professional Network

Launched at the beginning of 2022, 72 people have now joined the Professional Network, including Consultants, GPs, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals.

PRSB People Network

The People Network has been actively ensuring that people who use services are well represented in all of PRSB’s projects.

The Paterson Inquiry

PRSB has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care to advise on how better information sharing could improve patient safety.

New standards in 2021/22

This year we have published more standards than ever – with a world class suite of personalised care standards that put the tools in the hands of professionals and people.   

Personalised care and support planning standard

One of our greatest achievements last year was developing a suite of standards to support person-centred care. We believe passionately that putting the person at the heart of care is more than just a phrase or strategic objective. Members of our People Network speak eloquently about the huge difference it makes to their experience and outcomes of care when they are listened to and heard, and their testimonials never fail to hit home with professionals.  

The PRSB has updated its care planning standard to support community mental health care. The personalised care and support plan will support people with severe mental health conditions to live well in the community. The changes to the care planning standard will ensure that the right information about a person and their needs is available in a tailored care plan that can be shared digitally with health and care professionals and individuals themselves. The standard received was mandated for use in England by the NHS Data Alliance Partnership Board which will ensure the standard is implemented there across the sector. 

Shared decision making standard

Involving people in decisions about their treatment and care so that they can make informed choices about their health and care are at the heart of person-centred care.  

Shared decision making is a collaborative process where clinicians and individuals consider treatment and care options based on evidence about their potential benefits and harms, to enable the person to decide the best course for themselves. The conversation and decision made should be informed by what matters to the person, their goals, values, hopes, ideas, concerns and expectations. The Shared decision making standard provides a framework for clinicians to record the decision-making process that they undertook with people. It allows the shared decision and supporting information to be shared between professionals and their different record systems. The standard was based on GMC guidance and NICE guidelines.  

PRSB has long been determined to produce a shared decision-making standard and we are grateful to EIDO Healthcare for their unwavering commitment and support that enabled us to get this project off the ground and see it through to completion.  

Social prescribing standard

For many people, improving their health and wellbeing requires a holistic approach and support by professionals who can help them focus on what matters to them to live well. Social prescribing supports people to understand their needs and connects them to local community (non-clinical), often voluntary services which can provide the help they need. 

The Social prescribing standard enables sharing and recording of information for the whole patient journey, from initial referral, throughout the period of social prescribing and the message back to the referrer and GP at its conclusion. 

The standard is UK wide with involvement from representatives of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.  

PRSB is working with NHS Digital to develop the technical capability to share social prescribing information between computers for professional use. We also expect the standard to be mandated by the Data Alliance Partnership Board in autumn 2022, which will ensure it is implemented by system suppliers, so its use becomes widespread in England. 

Palliative and end of life care information standard

The needs of people of all ages who are at or near the end of life, their families, carers and communities, should be addressed, considering their priorities, preferences and wishes. Personalised care as individuals near the end of life will result in a better experience, tailored around what really matters to the person, as well as create more sustainable services. 

During 2021 we updated the standard for palliative and end of life care to ensure that professionals and individuals have access to appropriate information to support decision making for those with palliative care needs and those approaching the end of their lives. The standard supports the Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning. 

The standard defines the information that should form part of a person’s shared care record for use whenever or wherever a person accesses services. PRSB is working with NHS Digital on the technical specifications that will ensure information at or near end of life can be shared between computers to support care. We are working with NHS England to achieve ISN status for the standard which will mandate it use and work will be undertaken in 2022 on a toolkit to help professionals implement the standard in systems. 

111 referral standard

This standard defines the information that should be shared from 111 or 999 services when a person is referred onto another service. It also defines the information for a post event message to inform a person’s GP of their contact with 111 services and provide them with an effective summary. 

Diabetes information record standards

Caring for the growing numbers of people with diabetes is one of the biggest challenges in healthcare as “diabetes is the largest contributor to healthcare cost and reduced life expectancy in Europe”. However, with the right treatment and care, people can live a healthy life with much less risk of complications. Personalised care that is delivered across primary care, community services and hospital settings is key and sharing information to support joined up care is vital. 

PRSB developed standards for sharing diabetes information between people and professionals across all care settings. This includes self-reported data from the increasing number of digital tools available for self-management and medical technology (e.g., glucose monitors) to support remote patient monitoring. 

PRSB is now working with NHS Digital to specify how the information can be made computer readable, and how information can be held or moved between systems. 

This will support the consistent recording of information and will enable information to be sent and received between clinical systems (and digital apps and medical devices). The standards will then be piloted. 

Nursing standard

PRSB undertook discovery work in 2021 to support future development of a nursing standard. Its aim is to improve quality and safety of care in key nurse-led areas, including care planning. It will reflect best practice and standardise documentation across different nursing settings, to free nurses up and give them more time to care. For example, the intention is to standardise information that a district nurse in a care home setting can access and share in the same way as a mental health or hospital nurse, with a focus on the person’s overall wellbeing.  

While the emphasis was nurse-led care, we spoke to professionals and people who use services to build consensus and support for the standards.

  • Emphasis on nurse-led care but centred around the person rather than the speciality, diagnosis or setting  
  • Building on good practices; standardised nursing models and terminologies to describe care assessments, interventions and outcomes  
Community pharmacy standard

In recent years, the role of community pharmacists has expanded and they now offer an increasing range of services. As such, it is important that pharmacists can digitally record people’s information and share efficiently with GP practices, which is exactly what PRSB’s community pharmacy standard does. This year, we published a draft update to this standard, covering 13 pharmacy standards and later in 2022, we will publish a further update so that the standard can be adapted to cover new services as they are introduced. 

Anaesthetic charts

This project is to establish data standards for an electronic anaesthetic chart. A workshop was undertaken to develop a draft standard for anaesthetic charts.  

Overprescribing guidance

The aim of this work was to review the eDischarge Summary Standard in the context of overprescribing and explore what supplementary implementation guidance could be provided to support the wider work of the NHS on tackling overprescribing. 

General research was undertaken to expand upon the existing implementation guidance and identify areas which might specifically support the overprescribing agenda. PRSB has developed supplementary implementation guidance for the eDischarge Summary Standard to provide guidance for system suppliers to help them implement the standard within their systems with tools and functions that will help to address overprescribing. 

Shared care records

The Core Information Standard (CIS) for shared care records was completed in July 2019 and defines the information that could or should be held about an individual in a shared care record, so that anyone caring for them will be able to access relevant information in a timely way. The standard is the basis of Integrated Care Systems’ (ICSs) shared care records and is critical for interoperability. Since publishing the standard, we have undertaken a review and made recommendations about how to speed up its adoption so that information can be shared more easily to improve care.  

Looking ahead to 2022/23 and beyond

We see a wealth of opportunities for PRSB in 2022 and we have bold plans for expanding our Standards Partnership Scheme, creating a learning system of continuous improvement in standards and promoting adoption of the About Me standard through an exciting and innovative campaign. This work will complement delivering important standards for care that our members have identified as priorities.

The Standards Partnership Scheme
The Standards Partnership Scheme is at the heart of our growth plans and we see the Quality Mark as truly game-changing, as more and more suppliers test their conformance to standards and health and care professionals take up the new offer we intend to launch in the autumn. Bringing the two parts of the scheme together will be a powerful lever to support adoption of standards, not only for the delivery of high quality care but for regulation of services, procurement, and creating a learning health and care system.  

The scheme is already giving us valuable feedback and in the months to come we believe the standards themselves will become better as more organisations use them and we have the opportunity to learn from case studies and the evidence of success that our partners and customers share.   

Creating a learning system

The Standards Partnership Scheme allows PRSB and our partners to test, revise and refine standards through our rigorous assessment process. We are taking the learning from each conformance assessment process and ensuring that we use that information to continuously improve our standards. Thus we are able to ensure PRSB standards are fit for purpose and as a result are useful, usable and used.  

Evidencing the benefits of using standards – improving the safety, quality and experience of care as well as reducing the administrative burden on staff by creating time-saving, more efficient ways of working – is vital for making the irrefutable case for their adoption. We are planning to develop a series of case studies focusing on the impact and benefits of the scheme in 2022-23. By publishing and raising awareness of successful adoption of standards we will create the right environment for others to learn and share the benefits of standards adoption. 

The #CareAboutMe campaign launched at the Digital Healthcare Show in the middle of May and will run through to April 2023. In its first three months, the campaign has had more than 3,000 visitors, 30+ endorsements from health and care leaders, patient groups, our members and individuals plus an enthusiastic response from suppliers who want to join our Standards Partnership Scheme. 

The campaign aims to raise widespread awareness of the About Me standard, promote the improvements it can make to quality of care and the positive impact it can have on people’s quality of life and health, and contribute towards PRSB’s strategic priority to support the UK-wide commitment to person-centred care in the NHS and social care.      

We want everyone to have the opportunity to create an About Me record and every professional to have access to About Me records where they exist. We want suppliers to implement the About Me standard in their systems, working through our Standards Partnership Scheme to showcase the conformance of their systems. 

PRSB is discussing how we can get the standard into widespread use with the NHS App team, suppliers and others as the more uptake we create the more people will benefit from a person-centred approach to their care. 

PRSB's tech strategy

PRSB’s tech strategy will be addressing how we make our standards usable especially with suppliers. In 2022 we will set out a plan for redesigning and professionalising our technical services so that PRSB’s reputation as the independent and authoritative leader of information standards in the UK is enhanced. The strategy will deliver a simple narrative explaining what standards are and how to use them, it will set out how we will streamline our standards so that they are easier to implement, and we are improving our internal systems and methods to manage our portfolio of standards with greater consistency and coherence over time. 

Standards in development in 2022 for integrated care 

Pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services standard

The PRSB was commissioned by the NHS to define information standards for each of the five care settings, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, ambulance and community services (collectively referred to as PODAC), with the objective of improving care to individuals through better access to shared care records. The aim of the project is to define the information standard for each care setting so that health and care professionals can access information from a shared care record to ensure that the service being provided is high quality, safe, appropriate and delivers continuity of care as needed by any individual. The project aims to test whether PRSB’s Core information standard could support PODAC information needs. A series of focus groups with professionals tested use of the standard in PODAC settings and two workshops were scheduled to test its use more widely. The findings from the project will inform what information should be shared with PODAC professionals. The project is due to complete later in 2022.

Wound care information standard
The National Wound Care Strategy Programme (UK wide and across all health and care settings) is addressing the unwarranted variation in UK wound care services, underuse of evidence-based practices and overuse of ineffective practices. The aim is to improve wound care healing and prevention for people leading to more efficient use of NHS resources. There is currently no recognised standard for a generic information record that can support the delivery of wound care (including assessment, management, maintenance and prevention), so PRSB has been commissioned to produce a wound care information standard to support the adoption of best practices in wound care and increase the quantity, quality and impact of these approaches. To date we have carried out initial research and evidence gathering, consulting front line professionals, using our networks to engage stakeholders. This standard will be published 2022/23. 
Workforce standard
PRSB is undertaking work to develop a standard for a digital staff passport which is intended to make it easier for NHS staff to move from one NHS employer to another. The passport aims to help staff work more flexibly and reduce onboarding administration, enabling staff to move between provider locations swiftly and smoothly as their skills, qualifications, HR and other core checks are safely and securely shared and validated between organisations.  

The PRSB is undertaking evidence gathering and a research phase in early 2022 with consultation to follow in the summer and publication of this phase of work to follow in the autumn. Further phases of work on the digital staff passport are being planned.   

Financial statements and accounts

The PRSB financial statement for 2022

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