We respect your right to privacy and keep all your health information confidential and secure. It is important that the NHS keeps accurate and up-to-date records about your health and treatment so that those treating you can give you the best possible care.
This information may be used for management and audit purposes. However, it is usually only available to, and used by, those involved in your care. You have the right to know what information we hold about you. If you would like to see your records, please contact a member of our practice staff.
"How we handle your information" leaflets are available at reception. Please click here for further details.
Local health services also hold information about you. Please click here to read more.
Confidential information from your medical records can be used to improve the way the NHS delivers care to all patients. A modern information system has been developed by the NHS in England, which will make increased use of this information. This system is referred to as Care.data.
One of the main aims of Care.data is to allow the NHS to make better use of the routine information collected when you visit us (your GP practice). This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information from all the different places where you receive care. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you. The system complies with strict confidentiality rules and the law.
As a patient you have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside the practice or if you want to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services you should let us know.
A 'How information about you helps us to provide better care' leaflet and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available to download at www.nhs.uk/caredata
The NHS in England is introducing the Summary Care Record, which will be used in emergency care. The record will contain information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had to ensure those caring for you have enough information to treat you safely. Healthcare staff will ask your permission before they look at your record, except in certain circumstances for example if you are unconscious. As a patient you have a choice, please click here to find out more, or see below for further information.
In addition to the National Summary Care Record, your local NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is developing a local shared record, called the Connecting Care Record. Your Connecting Care record will contain more detailed information, such as diagnoses, medications and appointments, to support your treatment and care at services in your area. This record will only be used to support your care locally. It will ensure that the people caring for you have enough information to treat you safely and to co-ordinate your care. Your Connecting Care Record will only be available to authorised health and social care staff who are directly involved in your care locally. As with the Summary Care Record, they must have permission each time they view your Connecting Care Record. As a patient you have a choice, please click here to find out more.
Sharing Information - NHS Youtube Channel
Summary Care Record - Further Details
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.
Sharing Information with Community Staff
How we share your information with community health staff
All GP practices in South Gloucestershire use a system called EMIS Web which provides a very powerful electronic patient record allowing us to provide you with high quality care. To help other local health teams care for you effectively it is often very beneficial for us to share some of your health information with them.
Sirona Care & Health who provide a range of community health services in South Gloucestershire such as district nurses, physiotherapists, and podiatrists, also use EMIS Web for their medical records. Our local GP Out of Hours service, Brisdoc, will soon also be using the same system for clinical notes.
The EMIS Web enables us to create specific data sharing agreements with other organisations that use EMIS Web, allowing clinicians in each organisation to view the medical record held by the other. This means that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history including medication and allergies.
However there are strict access controls so the clinician seeing you would ask your permission to view your shared record before accessing it and has to select a reason. Every time your shared record is viewed, an audit trail is made of who accessed your notes, at what time and why.
You can control how your medical information is shared with other organisations that use this system.
- Sharing Out
This controls whether your information stored in the practice can be shared with other NHS services (i.e. made shareable)
- Sharing In
This controls whether information made shareable at other NHS care services can be viewed by us, your GP practice, or not. (i.e. shared in)
Benefits of sharing information
Sharing information can help improve understanding, responses to different treatments and potential solutions. Information will also help to:
- Provide better information to out of hours and emergency services
- Prevent Prescribing of medication to which you may already have an allergy
- Make more informed prescribing decisions about drugs and dosages
- Avoid unnecessary duplication in prescribing
- Increase clinician confidence when providing care
- Allow those caring for you to view results of investigations, such as X-rays and laboratory tests
- Reduce referrals, ambulance journey admissions, tests, time wastage and visits to healthcare premises
- Find out basic details about you, such as your next of kin
Do I have a choice?
Yes. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared with other local health organisations, please inform reception. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law.
There is a separate process to prevent your information from being shared with national projects such as the Summary Care Record. Again if you want more information about this or to opt out, please speak to reception.
Objecting on behalf of others
If you are a carer and have a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare then you can object on behalf of the patient who lacks capacity. If you do not hold a Lasting Power of Attorney then you can raise your specific concerns with the patient’s GP.
If you have parental responsibility and your child is not able to make an informed decision for themselves, then you can make a decision about information sharing on behalf of your child. If your child is competent then this must be their decision.
Do I need to do anything?
Please inform Reception should you wish to opt out. You can change your mind at any time.