NHS is continuously working to improve on the provision of medical and healthcare to all patients. With the evolving development in the healthcare industry, it is considered good practice for clinicians to work together with the aim of achieving better care for patients. To attain this purpose, systems have been put in place which will involve the use of patients’ information held on medical records. In light of current developments, there is a growing concern among users of the NHS Healthcare in relation to the use of their confidential data.
To help bring a clear separation and understanding of the systems in place, a brief outline of each system is given below.
Summary Care Records
The Summary Care Records is an existing system within the NHS whereby patients’ medical records can be accessed when urgent care is needed in an emergency. The information held on patients' medical records used under this system are known allergies, medications and any bad reaction to any medication a patient has had. Please visit the Summary Care Records page on the NHS and the NHS UK website for more information.
To opt out of this system please download this form and return the completed slip to Reception.
Disclosure of Personal Confidential Data (CARE DATA)
Under new powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA), an organisation called the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) can under certain circumstances require Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP practices. The data to be extracted includes referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data. These identifiers - date of birth, postcode, NHS number and gender - are required by HSCIC to link GP data with data from other care settings. This leaflet (PDF, 336KB) gives information on how sharing your data can help the care your receive.
For more information, visit the NHS England and NHS UK website
The Secretary of State for Health has given his commitment that, any individual patient objections will be respected. This gives patients' the choice to opt out of this system.
To opt out of his system please download this form and return the completed slip to Reception.
Further details about HSCIC Care Data Extraction:
You may have heard about the forthcoming care.data service managed by the Health & Social Care Information Centre. There are further details below from the NHS England patient information leaflet, copies of which are available from the surgery:
Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.
It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.
Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone.
How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy. We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.
Please take time to read this leaflet. You need to make a choice.
Benefits of sharing information
Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions.
Information will also help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;
- guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients;
- support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems;
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services; and
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.
What will we do with the information?
We will only use the minimum amount of information we need to help us improve patient care and the services we provide.
We have developed a thorough process that must be followed before any information can be shared. We sometimes release information to approved researchers, if this is allowed under the strict rules in place to protect your privacy. We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored and used.