Pre-Hospital Emergency Department Data Sharing

We are running a research project, funded by the Health Foundation PHED Data (the Pre-Hospital Emergency Department Data Sharing Project) to assess how information about patients can be best used by us, acute trusts and commissioners.

The project aims to link ambulance data to hospital data to better understand what happens to patients after ambulance staff leave them at the hospital’s emergency department, to show that greater information sharing can lead to significant patient benefits, without compromising confidentiality.

Background

Excluding small patient groups, such as those having a pre-hospital cardiac arrest, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) does not hold information about what happens to patients after they leave the ambulance and . there is no data sharing between the LAS and acute trusts.

We conducted a small feasibility pilot with one acute trust in North West London which, with the necessary agreements and security,  demonstrated that non-identifiable information from the acute trust’s emergency department can be linked to LAS data. For the first time in London, cases can be tracked from the 999 call to the outcome at the emergency department. The pilot also showed that data linkage was possible and indicated a potential range of benefits to both organisations.

PHED Data

We have now received research funding from the Health Foundation to expand the pilot. The project team consists of LAS staff and researchers from Swansea University, the Nuffield Trust and Kingston University and St. George’s, The University of London. This project, known as PHED Data, will approach six more acute trusts across London, and will run for two years from May 2015. 

The aim of the project is assess how this data can be best used by acute trusts, commissioners and the London Ambulance Service. We will analyse the linked data through a series of work packages looking at;

  • Response times
  • How other healthcare professionals use the LAS
  • Patient groups who are acutely unwell in the ambulance
  • Patient groups who are not acutely unwell in the ambulance

Alongside the quantitative work, we will be conducting a series of focus groups and interviews. At the end of data analysis we will produce a series of recommendations with the aim to provide benefits to patients, clinicians and service delivery.

Through PHED Data, we hope to demonstrate that greater information sharing can yield significant patient benefits without compromising patient confidentiality. It is essential that partnerships between the LAS and acute trusts continue to strengthen, and data sharing plays a key role in improving that process.

Information for patients

Will this change my treatment?

No. Only data that is collected during routine care will be used in the project, there will be no change to treatments. The data sharing happens after your care is completed.

Will personal information be shared?

No. Any personal information collected by the LAS and the emergency departments as part of your care will be treated in accordance with their standard confidential information handling policies. This project will not handle any personally identifiable data and will analyse patient trends rather than individual patient journeys. The project will share non-personally identifiable information with other health organisations for the purpose of delivering the project only. This will be in a strictly controlled and secure environment for the purpose of improving patient care.

What will happen to the results of the evaluation?

We will write up our findings in a report which will be published with the Health Foundation and available on the LAS website . We will also aim to publish the findings in suitable journals.

Who has reviewed this project?

The project has been evaluated by an independent group at the Faculty Research Ethics Committee, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston and St George’s University, University of London to protect your safety, rights, and dignity. This committee has given a favourable opinion.

The project has governance approval through the Health Research Authority. We also have a patient and public panel which  meets every six months and ensures that the views of the patient and/or public are being represented at every stage of project.

Where can I find more information about the project?

If you want more information about the project please contact the principal investigator, Sophie Clark at sophie.clark@londonambulance.nhs.uk or by post to:

Sophie Clark
London Ambulance Service HQ Annexe
8–20 Pocock Street
London
SE1 0BW