The NHS in England is now using an electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR), which is being used to support patient care.
All the settings where you receive health care keep their own medical records about you. These places can often only share information from your records by letter, fax or phone. At times, this can delay information sharing and this can impact decision making and slow down treatment.
The Summary Care Record is a copy of key information held in your GP record. It provides authorised healthcare staff with faster, secure access to essential information about you - when you need unplanned care or when your GP practice is closed. The availability of Summary Care Records will improve the safety and quality of your care.
You can choose to have an SCR or you can choose to opt out.
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record and are registered with a GP practice, you do not need to do anything as a Summary Care Record is created for you.
If you choose to opt out of having a Summary Care Record and do not want a SCR, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in and returning the opt-out form to any of the three reception desks.
Please make sure you read the enclosed information leaflet fully before making and decision to opt out. You can choose to opt back in at any time by writing to the Practice.
Information in medical records can be used to improve the way health care is delivered. By linking information from the different places you receive care, the NHS can improve the services offered and carry out research into the treatments for various diseases and illnesses, e.g. by comparing the care received in different areas to determine what works best.
NHS England are introducing a new data extraction system (GPES – General practice Extraction Service) which will allow sharing of some aspects of patients’ medical records. Your postcode or NHS number (not your name) will be used to link your records in a highly secure system, so your identity is protected. Only the minimum amount of information will be used and strict law and confidentiality rules will be followed.
Please be assured that this process is completely automated and that no data will be sold or released to pharmaceutical or private companies. If you are happy for your information to be shared then you do not need to do anything. However you can choose to opt out of this process by writing to Janet Taylor, our IM&T manager, who will record this on your medical records thus preventing your information being shared.
For further information click these links:
Health & Social Care Information Centre website at www.hscic.gov.uk .