At Littledown Surgery we take the issue of patient confidentiality extremely seriously and it is the bed-rock of everything that we do. However there are circumstances where sharing patient data helpful and leads to safer care. We are talking about personal information being shared for the purpose of delivering care to you, the patient.
At all times you would have the right to opt-out of data sharing, and you can control which external organisations can access your medical record.
There are three main areas with regard to sharing patient information:
1.Summary Care Record
Summary Care Records (SCR) are a national 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.
Access to SCR information means that care in other settings is safer, reducing the risk of prescribing errors. It also helps avoid delays to urgent care.
At a minimum, the SCR holds important information about:
- current medication
- allergies and details of any previous bad reactions to medicines
- the name, address, date of birth and NHS number of the patient
If you wish to opt-out of having a Summary Care Record please complete this form: SCR Opt Out
The patient can also choose to include additional information in the SCR, such as details of long-term conditions, significant medical history, or specific communications needs. For further information on the additional information in the SCR click here.. If you would like to have the additional information on your Summary Care Record please complete this form: SCR Leaflet
Benefits of using additional information in SCR
When a patient consents to including additional information in their SCR, the GP can add it simply by changing the consent status on the clinical system. This means more information will be available to health and care staff viewing the SCR. It will then be automatically updated when the GP record is updated.
This is a quick, cost-effective way to:
- improve the flow of information across the health and care system
- increase safety and efficiency
- improve care
- respond to particular challenges such as winter pressures
It’s particularly useful for people with complex or long term conditions, or patients reaching end of life.
2.Sharing data with other SystmOne services
Now that we have moved onto the SystmOne system, like most services in Dorset, we now have the opportunity to share patient data with other relevant services to improve the care you receive.
This leaflet gives further details and there is also a Frequently Asked Questions Information Sheet
If you don’t want your medical record to ever be shared with any service who is providing care to you, you can ask the practice to opt you out of sharing. We will be automatically turning the sharing function on for all patients unless we hear from you. But this does not mean that your record is automatically shared. Each time an external service wants to access your record they will ask for your consent. So for example, if you are being seen by a GP at the Urgent Treatment Centre, they will ask you if you give your consent for them to access your record. You can say no at this point.
The services that could potentially access your record include:
- District Nursing
- Health Visiting
- Community Matrons
- Urgent Treatment Centre
- Therapy and Community Rehab teams
- Continence service
- Chronic Fatigue Service
- Community Cardiac, Dermatology, MSK, Neurology, Oncology, Podiatry, Vasectomy and Anti-coagulation services
- Pulmonary Rehab service
- Intermediate Care
- Looked After Children’s team
- School Nursing
- Tissue Viability service
- Speech and Language services (Adult and Child)
- Minor Injuries Units
- Community Stroke services
These services will only access your record if you are being treated by them, and if you give your consent when they ask.
3.Sharing within the Primary Care Network
We are now working closely with three other practices (Beaufort Road Surgery, Shelley Manor & Holdenhurst Medical Centre and Southbourne Surgery) to develop services that serve the needs of all our patients. For example the Frailty service we are developing, and the Clinical Pharmacist who works across all four practices.
These services may need to access patients records in order to care for patients. In order to make this seamless we are going to adopt a functionality called Shared Admin. This means that appropriate Network staff can login in once and access the patient records they need across all four practices. If you would like to restrict access to your medical record to only staff from this practice please let us know and we can arrange that. But this may mean you cannot access services that could care for you. In addition there may be specific concerns regarding relatives or neighbours who work for one of these network practices. If you contact us you can request that specific staff members access to your record is blocked.
This does not mean we have any plans to merge. We intend to continue operating as an independent practice, albeit with close links and shared services with these three other practices.