NHS Digital are launching a new way of collecting data from GP practices in order to support the planning of NHS services and for research purposes.
Patient data collected from general practice is needed to support a wide variety of research and analysis to help run and improve health and care services. Whilst the data collected in other care settings such as hospitals is valuable in understanding and improving specific services, it is the patient data in general practice that helps us to understand whether the health and care system as a whole is working for patients.
As a practice we are legally required to participate in the sharing of this data. We must also be clear and transparent with our patients about how their data is handled and shared. There is growing concern that the general public remain largely unaware of this significant change, which is due to come into effect on 1st July 2021. We want to alert you to this change to allow you to think about your options and consider whether you wish to opt out of this data sharing.
You have the choice to opt out. Please use the following link for all information with regards to Opting Out of data sharing and how to opt out.
Type 1 - National Data Opt-Out - form to be given to Surgery;
AND the National Data Opt-Out - online form;
Summary Care Record
There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases.
As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
For further information visit the HSCIC Website
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to 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.
You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please speak to practice staff or download a copy of the leaflet “How information about you helps us to provide better care” below.
We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.
You can find out more on the NHS England Care Data website