Why Share Your Medical Record?
Increasingly, patient medical data is shared (e.g. between GP surgeries and emergency doctors or District Nursing) in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when attending patients. However, 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 future problems. 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. Either way, this decision is ultimately yours.
Consent is key
The systems we operate require that any sharing of medical information is consented to by patients beforehand. Patients must consent to sharing of the data held by a health provider out to other health providers and must also consent to which of the other providers can access their data.
e.g. it may be necessary to share data held in GP practices with district nurses but the local podiatry department would not need to see it to undertake their work. In this case, patients would allow the surgery to share their data, they would allow the district nurses to access it but they would not allow access by the podiatry department. In this way access to patient data is under patients' control and can be shared on a 'need to know' basis.
General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)
NHS Digital has issued a new system for collecting GP data for planning and research. Whilst general practices will still retain data controllership over patient records within the practice, this data will be shared with NHS Digital. NHS Digital will be responsible for access and dissemination of this shared data for planning and research. For more information please see the NHS Digital Website here.
You can Opt-Out of NHS Digital accessing or disseminating your data, or change your choice by completing this form on the NHS website. For more information about whether to Opt-Out, please see this page on the NHS website.
Patient Records & Online Services
What Records Can You Currently Access Online?
The records you can access through your online services include medications, test results, known allergies, ongoing and past problems as well as past immunisations. Currently, this is the extent of the records online services are allowed to draw from our healthcare systems.
If you wish to Opt-In to having this access through your online services, please contact a member of staff and we will look to provide access for you. Please be careful when accessing and handling these online records as we have limited control over who can access them via your online accounts.
For further details from your health records or if you don't have online services, we can provide a brief summary of your records and either print it out or email it. Please contact a member of staff to request this summary.
NHS Digital & Online Records Expansion
NHS Digital have postponed their expansion for greater access to records through online services. This roll out was originally meant to occur on November 2022 but was not rolled out then. We have not been updated with a new date for this roll out to occur.
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. Ideally, 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.
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.