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.

NHS Digital is the national custodian for health and care data in England and has responsibility for standardising, collecting, analysing, publishing and sharing data and information from across the health and social care system, including general practice.

NHS Digital collected patient data from general practices using a service called the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES), which has operated for over 10 years and now needs to be replaced. Data collected from general practice is needed to support a wide variety of research and analysis to help run and improve health and care services. 

If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out (data being extracted from your GP practice) or a National Data Opt-out (data already extracted & being shared by NHS Digital), or both. These opt-outs are different and they are explained in more detail below. Your individual care will not be affected if you opt-out using either option.

 

Summary Care Records

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. They can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient's direct care. This is so that if you are being treated away from home, for example, the doctor treating you would know essential details that might include your allergies, regular medication and past history. Since this began in 2010 you have had the option of opting out of this scheme. There is a form for this, available from your GP surgery or to download from the link below.

Why do I need a Summary Care Record?

Storing information in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed. This information could make a difference to how a doctor decides to care for you, for example which medicines they choose to prescribe for you.

Who can see it?

Only healthcare staff involved in your care can see your Summary Care Record. 

Do I have to have one?

No, it is not compulsory. If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery. You can use the form at the foot of this page.

Type 1 Opt-out

Type 1 Opt-out (opting out of NHS Digital collecting your data)

From 1st September 2021 NHS Digital will collect data from GP practices about patients’ who have not registered a Type 1 Opt-out with their practice. More information about Type 1 Opt-outs can be accessed in their GP Data for Planning and Research Transparency Notice

To enable the practice staff to process your choice to opt-out or opt-in, please send us the form by 23rd August 2021 at the latest.

If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after this collection has started, no more of your data will be shared with NHS Digital.  They will however still hold the patient data which was shared with them before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out. 

If you do not want NHS Digital to share your identifiable patient data with anyone else for purposes beyond your own care, then you can also register a National Data Opt-out.  See below for further information.

National Data Opt Out

The national data opt-out was introduced on 25 May 2018, enabling patients to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes, in line with the recommendations of the National Data Guardian in her Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. 

Since 25th May 2018 GP's have been unable to record a patients choice to opt out from the use of their data for research or planning purposes. Any choices that were made prior to this date will have been recorded.  If you do not want to opt out you do not need to do anything.  But if you do, there are a number of ways to do this:

Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care. It is also used to help us research new treatments, decide where to put GP clinics and plan for the number of doctors and nurses in your local hospital. Wherever possible we try to use data that does not identify you, but sometimes it is necessary to use your confidential patient information.