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.
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.
The current NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR) has been delayed due to NHSD wishing to review the way in which this data will be collected, to conduct more public involvement and information about the plans and change the way in which patients can opt out of the extract of their GP data.
Currently the only way to opt out is to complete a Type 1 opt out form and return this to the practice by the 1st September. However, this extract will not be taken until the NHSD have changed the way it will take the data and respect the patient’s choice for using their data. NHSD are introducing the following changes to the opt out process which will mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time::-
- Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded.
- NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out.
- The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian.
This means that you can opt out at any time in the future and NHSD will delete data that they already have taken for research purposes, the deadline of the 01/09/2020 has been delayed until a new system of opt out is developed. Hopefully, this will be a simple centralised approach via the NHS app or NHS website to avoid paper form and administration work for your GP.
We will update you when we know more about the NHSD plans to change how you can control who has access to your data.