SHARING YOUR NHS PATIENT DATA
Information sharing in the NHS is subject to rigorous regulation and governance to ensure your full identifiable and personal medical data is kept confidential and only ever seen by carefully vetted doctors, nurses and administrative staff responsible for overseeing your care.
With the development of information technology the NHS will increasingly be sharing key information from your GP medical notes with Out of Hours GP Services, Hospital A&E Units, Community Hospitals, Community Nurses all of whom may at various times in your life be looking after you. Sharing information can improve both the quality and safety of care you receive and in some cases can be vital in making life-saving decisions about your treatment.
There are currently three different elements of “sharing NHS patient information”:
1 SCR = NHS Summary Care Record
The NHS Summary Care Record was introduced many years ago to help deliver better and safer healthcare. It contains basic information about:
- Any allergies you may have
- Unexpected reactions to medications
- Any prescriptions you have recently received
The intention of the SCR is to help clinicians in Hospital A&E Departments and GP Out of Hours health services to give you safe, timely and effective treatment. Clinicians are only allowed to access your SCR record if they are authorised to do so and, even then, only if you give your express permission. You will be asked if healthcare staff can look at your Summary Care Record every time they need to, unless it is an emergency, for instance if you are unconscious. You can refuse if you think access is unnecessary.
Over time, health professionals treating you may add details about any health problems and summaries of your care. Every time further information is added to your record, you will be asked if you agree (explicit consent).
Patients under 16 years have an NHS Summary Care Record created for them so if you are the parent or guardian of a child then please either make this information available to them or decide and act on their behalf.
EDSM = Enhanced Data Sharing Model “SYSTMONE”
The database and software used to store your GP health record is called “SystmOne” it is a very secure national system used by over 2000 GP practices and 4800 NHS organisations including GP Out Of Hours services, children's services, community services and some hospitals. All the GP practices in our local area use this same confidential clinical computer system.
The system gives your GP the facility to share your record with other NHS health providers that use the same clinical computer system and are involved in your care. For example, the local Community Nurses who may look after you when you leave hospital, Community Physiotherapy and Community Diabetes Service.
Allowing your GP to share your record in the “SystmOne” database helps to deliver better and safer care for you. It is the policy of all local GP practices to automatically opt registered patients into “SystmOne” sharing unless they expressly decline. Those patients who choose to decline are able to determine if their data is “shared out” and/or “shared in”:
2 Sharing OUT controls whether information recorded at our GP practice can be shared with other NHS healthcare providers.
3 Sharing IN determines whether or not our GP practice can view information in your record that has been entered by other NHS services that are providing care for you or that may provide care for you in the future (that you have consented to share out).