The Wessex Care Records programme aims to create a single care record for people living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Dorset, building on the best practice from the current DCR (Dorset Care Records) and CHIE (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) systems. This will allow health and care professionals from both Dorset and Hampshire/IOW to access an individual’s health and care record to plan and improve the quality of their care. At the same time health and care professionals will have the ability to analyse data from these care records, in a secure way, and use this insight to tailor health and care services to effectively meet the needs of local people and improve how we provide services, all with the aim of improving health outcomes.

It is important that citizens across Dorset and Hampshire/IOW understand about the Wessex Care Record, see the benefits of sharing information and using insight from patient data, and have trust and confidence in how it is used. To ensure this is the case we are currently developing a citizen engagement strategy. This will be informed by a comprehensive programme of research into citizen attitudes into the sharing and use of information. We want to make sure that patient views are represented as we develop and implement the citizen engagement strategy, so that we do the right things to inform and involve citizens in the work of Wessex Care Records and recognise the diverse needs of the population.

To help us do this, we are setting up a Dorset patient reference group to bring the patient perspective to shaping this work. This doesn’t require a big commitment – just attending an hour’s online meeting every five to six weeks and occasionally reviewing documents in between meetings. We’d also like a representative from this group to take part in the wider WCR Citizen Engagement Working Group, currently made up of communications and engagement professionals and clinicians from Dorset and HIOW to steer and advise on this work.

If you think you would like to help with this work by taking part in the patient reference group, please contact If you’d like to have a chat about this role first, please let us know and Tim will get in touch.