NHS England is commissioning a modern data service from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on behalf of the entire health and social care system. Known as care.data, this programme will build on the existing data services such as the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service, which was launched in 1989, and expand it to provide linked data that will eventually cover all care settings, both in and outside of hospital.
NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including general practices. The specification of the data to be extracted by GP practices were considered by the Joint GP IT Committee of the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as an independent advisory group. Details are available here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/caredata
The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) will be used to extract GP data each month. Initially the data will cover the period from April 2013 onwards. The identifiers to be extracted are: NHS number, date of birth, postcode and gender which will allow coded information about referrals, NHS prescriptions and other clinical data.
NHS England has made a leaflet available to give you more information on what this means to you. Below is a text version of the leaflet:
Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.
It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community services, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.
Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone.
How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.
We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.
Benefits of sharing information
Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions.
Information will also help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;
- guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients;
- support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems;
- improve the public's understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services; and
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.
What will we do with the information?
We will only use the minimum amount of information we need to help us improve patient care and the services we provide.
We have developed a thorough process that must be followed before any information can be shared. We sometimes release information to approved researchers, if this is allowed under the strict rules in place to protect your privacy. We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored and used.
We will make sure that the way we use information is in line with the law, national guidance and best practice. Reports that we publish will never identify a particular person.
Do I have a choice?
Yes. 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 your GP practice, ask your practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your confidential information being used other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health emergency).
You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information.
Your choice will not affect the care you receive.
Do I need to do anything?
If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time.
If you have concerns or are not happy for your information to be shared, speak to the GP practice.
Where can I get more information?
Leaflets in other languages and formats, together with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available from the website: www.nhs.uk/caredata
You can also get further information from the website at www.hscic.gov.uk
STATEMENTS OF INTENT
Patient access to their GP record
The practice is working towards offering a facility for patients to view online, export or print any summary information from their records, for example, medications, allergies, adverse reactions and any additional information that may be agreed between the GP and the patient. Our intention is to have this facility available by 31 March 2014.
Summary Care Record
The practice is contractually obliged to provide an automated upload of any changes to a patient's summary information, at least once every working day, to the Summary Care Record (SCR). The practice has a 'go-live' date of 13th October 2014 for enabling the Summary Care Record. The requirement is on the basis of the current definition of the SCR, i.e., the core SCR record contains medications, allergies and adverse reactions and uploaded on the basis of implied patient consent.
The SCR should only be viewed in emergency or urgent care settings with the explicit consent of the patient unless the patient is unable to give their consent, for example, if they are unconscious.
Patients can Opt Out of the Summary Care Record. Patients wishing to opt out should inform the practice so that a specific code can be entered onto their electronic record which would prevent their data being uploaded to the SCR.
GP2GP Record Transfers
From August 2014 the practice now has the facility to utilise the GP2GP facility for the transfer of patient records between practices, when a patient registers or de-registers. This does not aply to temporary registrations.