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Patient Data


Care.Data Service - Patient Information

We have received calls from patients concerned about what they believe is a new system by which their medical records can be used for "research" or other purposes without their permission. We thought it would be useful to clarify about how data about your care can be extracted and used.

The Care.Data service is a new service created by the Government via the Health And Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) empowered the HSCIC to require providers of NHS care to send it confidential data in limited circumstances i.e. when directed to do so by the Secretary of State for Health, NHS England or when receiving a mandatory request from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NICE or Monitor. The HSCIC will process the confidential data in a secure environment and can only release confidential data where there is a legal basis. Data about some aspects of your care can be extracted directly from GP Practices and sent directly and securely to the HSCIC.

What data will GP practices be required to extract for

The data to be extracted from GP systems for includes information such as family history, vaccinations, diagnoses, referrals, biological values (such as blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol with QOF exceptions codes) and all NHS prescriptions. Identifiers (DOB, postcode, NHS number and gender) are required to link the GP data with PCD from other care settings in order to analyse patient care across pathways. Free text will not be included in the extraction.

Can patients object to the disclosure of data from GP practices to the HSCIC?

Yes. As set out in the NHS Constitution, individuals have a right to object to the disclosure of data and a right to have any reasonable objections respected. The Secretary of State for Health has also given a commitment that in relation to data held in GP records, individuals' objections to disclosure to the HSCIC will be respected other than in exceptional circumstances (e.g. in the event of a civil emergency). A patient can inform their GP of their wishes to object - there is no need for the patient to demonstrate damage or distress. Section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) does not apply; the right to object has been implemented as a constitutional rather than a legal right.

What to do if you do NOT want your data to be used by Care.Data

Simply let us know at the practice see Staffa Health Care.Data Opt out form here complete the form that you wish to "opt out" of having your data included in the Care.Data process. We will then place a code in your record that ensures your data is not included.

What to do if you want more information?

A leaflet about the Care.Data service is available for you to download and print and can be accessed here The recently published "Better Information Means Better Care" leaflet is available here. NHS England have also launched an animated link available here to give patients audio and visual awareness.

Summary Care Records (SCR)

The NHS in England is introducing the Summary Care Record which will be used in emergency care.

A Summary Care Record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had. Having this information stored in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.

For further information about the scheme visit or telephone 0300 123 3020.

You can choose not to have a Summary Care Record. You can download an "opt out" form here. Furthermore you can change your mind at any time by informing your GP practice in writing. If you do nothing we will create a Summary Care Record for you.

Children under 16 will automatically have a Summary Care Record created for them unless their parent or guardian chooses to opt them out of the scheme. If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that they are old enough to understand, then you should make this information available to them.

Risk Stratification

All practices in England are now participating in a new scheme intended to predict and prevent ill health in patients who may be at increased risk. This process to do this is call Risk Stratification.

Risk Stratification - What this means to our patients

As a pratice we are currently using a Risk Stratification tool that enables us to look at joint data from hospitals and the GP Practice. This helps to determine if a patient may be at higher risk of an admission to hospital. Care co-ordinators are employed to look at those risks and work within a multi disciplinary team to discuss the best care that can be provided to reduce the various elements that may be causing ill health in the future. For more information on how your health records are used see our patient leaflet

How to opt out of NHS data sharing?

There are three programmes in which your information is shared that you have a choice to opt out of:-

  • Summary Care Records,
  • Risk Stratification

If you wish to opt out of any of the above, please complete the ‘Opt Out Form’ available here and return the form to reception.

For further information about how we protect and use your information please click here to read Staffa Health Privacy Notice.

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