Sharing Your Medical Record
Increasingly, patient medical data is shared e.g. between GP surgeries and District Nursing, in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when attending patients.
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.
Access to Medical Records
The NHS wants to give people better ways to see their personal health information online. We know that people want to be able to access their health records. It can help you see test results faster. It also lets you read and review notes from your appointments in your own time.
We’re now letting you see all the information within your health record automatically. If you are over 16 and have an online account, such as through the NHS App, NHS website, or another online primary care service, you will now be able to see all future notes and health records from your doctor (GP). Some people can already access this feature, this won’t change for you.
This means that you will be able to see notes from your appointments, as well as test results and any letters that are saved on your records. This only applies to records from your doctor (GP), not from hospitals or other specialists.
You will only be able to see information from the 30th October 2023 onwards. For most people, access will be automatic, and you won’t need to do anything.
Your doctor (GP) may talk to you to discuss test results before you are able to see some of your information on the app. Your doctor (GP) may also talk to you before your full records access is given to make sure that having access is of benefit to you. There might be some sensitive information on your record, so you should talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
These changes only apply to people with online accounts. If you do not want an online account, you can still access your health records by requesting this information through reception. The changes also only apply to personal information about you. If you are a carer and would like to see information about someone you care for, speak to reception staff.
The NHS App, website and other online services are all very secure, so no one is able to access your information except you. You’ll need to make sure you protect your login details. Don’t share your password with anyone as they will then have access to your personal information.
If you do not want to see your health record, or if you would like more information about these changes, please speak to your GP or reception staff.
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.