Putting patients at the heart of what we do

Putting patients and carers at the centre of care has always been a crucial part of PRBS’s work. We recognise that better information sharing can help to support them in getting higher quality care and we’re extremely proud that our achievements in 2018/19 are helping to do just that.

A year in review

Our reputation for developing high quality standards that have broad support and providing timely delivery was further enhanced in 2018/19.

Core information standard

Joining up digital health and care information to support better, safer and more personalised services across the UK

Test letters

Streamlining referral information from GPs to outpatient services.

Digital medicines

Helping to reduce medication errors and waste in the UK

Document naming

Ensuring documents are correctly named and indexed for easy retrieval.

Maternity records

Enabling the sharing of digital maternity records between systems.

NICE Endorsement

In 2018/19 NICE formally endorsed the PRSB eDischarge standard.

Pharmacy information flows

Defining the information to be shared between pharmacies and GP practices.

Recording employment status

Exploring the benefits of employment status information in care records

Structure and content of care records

Aligning our standards

Urgent care information flows

Enabling clinicians to share records with colleagues across the healthcare system

Prof. Maureen Baker CBE, Chair of PRSB

As a GP I know that clinical engagement is vital if we are going to see successful digital change. Over the past year the PRSB has worked hard to continue building relationships with health and care professionals, as well as patients and carers from across the UK.

In numbers

People took part in our most recent consultation

+ members including colleges, professionals, patients & carers groups

+ website views every month this year

The future 2019/20

“We’re delighted with the work we’ve completed in 2018/19 and we are looking forward to another successful year ahead. With increased focus on implementation, we should begin to see the benefits of standards in action, which will result in safer and better care across the UK.”
Lorraine Foley, CEO


Our health is determined by different inherited genetic differences as well as lifestyles and other environmental factors. By combining and analysing information about our full genetic profile, with other information about health and then comparing that with data from others, patterns can be found. This information can then be used to determine a person’s risk of getting a certain illness, additional risk factors, preventative measures, as well as how a condition can be treated.

This year we’ll be developing guidance on how and when prescribers should be ‘alerted’ to important pharmacogenomic findings that offer better ways of using medications and personalised treatments for many conditions. This includes information about how medicines interact with a person’s genetic makeup and how prescribers should be alerted to that information.


In pathology, different providers and vendors use a variety of coding systems, which are all useful and safe in their own settings. However, it can be hard to consolidate all the information from different laboratories.

We know that diagnostic information is vital for supporting good healthcare outcomes and that’s why we are working with NHS Digital to standardise pathology coding. This will help to make accurate and comparable information about test results accessible for those who need it. In 2019/20 we hope to build on the good foundations put in place in the last year.

Pre primary care

People are increasingly turning to app and online symptom checkers for advice about common conditions, minor ailments and injuries, without necessarily needing to see a doctor. Next year the PRSB strategy includes plans to develop an accreditation service to provide formal approval to accredited suppliers. PRSB is exploring accrediting an online service that offers pre-primary care advice, as part of our expansion into accreditation services. This will be done following consultation with members and stakeholders, as well as formal endorsement by relevant members.

Classifications Project

Classification codes are used extensively within hospitals for clinical audits, health surveillance, service development, performance measures, contracting or research. OPCS-4 and ICD-10 are two examples of clinical classifications standards. OPCS-4 is used to classify interventions and surgical procedures, ICD-10 is used to classify diseases and other health conditions for morbidity and mortality statistics. NHS Digital has commissioned the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) to carry out an investigation into how they are used elsewhere, gaps and potential wider uses.

Diagnosis recording

The way medical diagnoses and GP problem lists are recorded and the culture for recording information in primary and secondary care are different. In 2019-20 PRSB, in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians, will complete guidance for the recording of medical diagnoses and problem lists in a structured form in patient records that enables standardisation and uniformity across primary and secondary care.

The guidance will define exactly what is meant by a problem, symptom and diagnosis. It will also clarify how all of information will be recorded. There is need for a wider programme of work on diagnosis recording beyond this project, e.g. defining the attributes of diagnosis and the educational support required to implement guidance on recording diagnosis. This report identifies the further work needed.

Digitising Lloyd George records

In order to provide a fully digitised GP service, Lloyd George records in general practice should be scanned and stored digitally. Although these patient records are no longer updated, they are needed to understand patients’ medical histories and provide patients with online access to their medical information.

The NHS has reviewed the process and has recommended a full digitisation of Lloyd George records with a complete upload to general practice clinical systems. PRSB will be consulting relevant professionals, patients and the public about the options and NECS’ recommended process, with a view to assuring it.

Social care assessment (ADW) assurance

At the moment hospitals must decide when it’s safe to discharge a patient and handover care to other services. Part of that decision-making process requires hospital staff to determine whether a care and support assessment is required before the patient leaves hospital care, so that appropriate social care can be put in place to support them.

If hospital staff believe an assessment is required, they must notify the local authority’s social services team. The PRSB has been asked to assure NHS Digital standards for assessment, discharge and withdrawal notices, so that the information can be shared safely and securely.

The Doctors' Download online consultation

The single most important factor in successful digital change is engaging the end users. In 2019-20 PRSB in collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is launching the Doctors Download consultation with the medical profession to drive that change. PRSB and the Academy will be engaging doctors in an online conversation about their daily experience and aspirations for using digital systems to do their jobs well.

The consultation

We will be asking questions about the benefit and challenges that doctors currently have with the different technology and systems they are using, how systems are currently affecting them, and what doctors hope to see change in the future. Commissioned by Health Education England, the body which is responsible for training doctors and conducted by Clever Together, the study will give UK doctors a say in the way digital healthcare can have the greatest impact.

Financial statements and accounts

The financial statements for 2018/19

Contact us

The Professional Record Standards Body
7-14, CAN Borough, Great Dover St, London SE1 4YR


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