How Information About You Helps Us Provide Better Care
As you will know, every time you have a consultation with a doctor, nurse or other health care professional, a brief summary of the consultation is entered on the practices's computer secure system and held confidentially.
It is important that the NHS can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. They would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help them provide a full picture. This will allow them to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so they 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 the NHS provides the best care possible for everyone. The plan is to start extracting data from Autumn 2013.
How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy. Following the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 NHS England now has the power to direct the Health and Social Care Information Commission to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including GP practices, and GPs are required to comply with this legislation; however, you do have a choice.
Over the next few months there are also plans to make limited information from the surgery available if you are visiting a hospital, either locally or across England, so that doctors treating you have up to date information about your medication and recent care. You would always be asked consent at the time before your record could be accessed by hospital health care workers.
We need to make sure that you know all this is happening and the choices