A £7m electronic record sharing system is set to benefit patients across Dorset.

The Dorset Care Record (DCR) will bring together information from hospitals, GPs, community teams and local councils, enabling details of a person's medical or care history - and their needs - to be summarised in the same place.

The DCR, provided by global healthcare company Orion Health and led by Dorset County Council, will be delivered through a secure computer network with an ‘opt-out’ function for patients who do not wish to be included.

Health bosses say it will be rolled out from the autumn with the first phase including basic information from GP, acute hospital and community systems covering admission and discharge dates, appointments and alerts.

Part of the £7.8m five year contract has come from the NHS England Integrated Digital Care Fund with additional funding from partner organisations.

Health and social care organisations have been calling for the establishment of an electronic record for a number of years and there is national guidance that states the NHS should have electronic records by 2020.

It is supported by the organisations across the county including NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dorset County Hospital, Poole Hospital, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Dorset HealthCare, as well as Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole.

Dorset County Council's chief executive Debbie Ward and Phil Richardson, director of design and transformation at NHS Clinical Commissioning Group say the DCR will deliver a better joined up service.

Mr Richardson said: "Sharing appropriate information electronically to a single place will offer direct access for authorised health and social care professionals to provide as full a picture as possible of people's history, needs, support and service contacts."

Mrs Ward added: "The DCR represents a really exciting approach to digital engagement with people across the county and is a key element of our wider 'Sustainability and Transformation Plan' to improve the treatment of people's health and reduce inequalities. It will make more efficient use of public money and in time, the DCR will offer people access to view and contribute to their own record."

The records will bring together a range of information, including health problems and diagnoses, prescribed drugs, blood tests and e-ray results, hospital discharge letters and agreed care plans.

There is a long-term plan to extend the system to share data with other health and care organisations, which meet the information sharing security criteria, such as hospices and neighbouring NHS facilities.

For more information go to news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/dorset-care-record