Doctors, nurses and health professionals are working to improve the way patient information is securely shared within the North East and North Cumbria – improving the care you receive and helping NHS services to run more efficiently.
During 2016, we will introduce a new electronic system enabling NHS health professionals providing you with treatment to view a summary of your GP held medical records. In some parts of the region this is already in place, with others implementing the system over the coming months.
Your patient data will only be used when healthcare professionals are caring for you. Medical professionals will ask for your consent to access your record at the start of each period of care. If you have previously chosen to opt out of sharing your GP record, information will not be available for them to review.
Over the next few years, we will continue working together to further improve patient care through better information-sharing.
We want to ensure that with each patient’s informed consent, your information is available to NHS healthcare providers including hospitals, mental health services, out-of-hours doctors and the ambulance service at the point you receive care.
This will include details which are are currently shared using slower and less reliable methods. Instead of phone calls and letters, the new system will make this information available electronically in a view-only format. This could include details of medical conditions, medication, operations and treatment, tests that have been requested or carried out, and contact details for your next of kin or other carers. It will not contain information about sensitive discussions you have had with your GP.
If health professionals can access the most up to date and accurate information about your health quickly and easily, they can give you better advice and provide safer and more effective care.
You will spend less time answering the same questions that you have already been asked in other parts of the system – you will only have to tell your story once.
It may be possible to avoid admission to hospital, or reduce the time spent in a hospital bed.
24-hour access would reduce the time wasted by doctors on checking details from multiple sources, and reduce delays to treatment if, for example, your GP practice is not open at the time to confirm your current medications.
By law, everyone working in, or on behalf of the NHS must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe. Your care record will be viewed through a secure, encrypted and audited system that meets stringent NHS security standards and government legislation including The Data Protection Act.
The system keeps a record of everyone who has accessed a patient record, the time and date when they accessed it, and the information they were viewing. The laws on data protection are clear and we will regularly check to make sure that only people who need to see your record are viewing it.
Your record will only be used when healthcare professionals are caring for you. They will ask for your consent to access your record at the start of each period of care. If you have chosen to opt out of sharing your GP record, information will not be available for them to review.
Everyone in the region will be included in the Great North Care Record initiative. If you are happy to be included, you do not need to take any action. Further information is available here.
Under the Data Protection Act you can ask to see any information held about you. If you wish to see the health information held about you, please contact the organisation(s) providing your care.
We will continue working together to improve our information-sharing, enabling health and care services to plan better, designing your care around you in a way that helps to prevent ill health rather than just treat it. You will have the right to opt out of this information-sharing at any stage, but we are confident that it will bring real benefits for patients and staff alike.
This initiative is supported by NHS organisations across the region, with Connected Health Cities playing a leading role in driving it forward. The Great North Care Record project partners are:
If you would like to opt out Great North Care Record click here