NHS England has announced two more regions chosen to become Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LHCRE), tasked with establishing an integrated health and care record across a large population.

Yorkshire and the Humber, covering West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside, and Thames Valley and Surrey, covering Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey, will each receive up to £7.5 million over two years to instill an electronic shared local health and care record across their areas.

The idea is to enable appropriate health and care staff faster access to relevant information on patients, as in many local areas GPs and other care professionals are often not able to access vital data quickly if it is held in another part of the health service, sometimes having to rely on post or fax instead.

The new sites, together with the previously announced sites of Greater Manchester, Wessex and One London, will see more than 40 percent of the population in England covered by a shared local health and care record, NHS England said.

“In the NHS’s 70th year, the local health and care record programme will take the NHS to a world leading position in using information technology to join up services, reduce errors, speed the adoption of new innovations, and give patients control over their own care. The Exemplars will be our trail blazers for that transformation,” said Matthew Swindells, national director of operations and information at NHS England.

Each LHCRE is made up of either one or multiple Sustainability Transformation Partnerships (STPs), which are working to better understand demand for local services and improve planning to effectively meet future demand.