Opt Out

Dual running of two systems

Until the 30 September 2020, in the North East and North Cumbria we are running two systems to share GP records with other NHS services.

This is a temporary measure as we transition from one service to another. If you want to opt out of sharing your record you need to ensure you are opted out of both systems.

You will need to contact your own GP practice and tell them you don’t want your records sharing. Here is a copy of the opt out form you can take to your GP practice. They will prevent your record being accessed. You will also need to contact the helpline to opt you out of the second system. The details on how to do this are below.

After 30 September, we expect to switch off the old system and any new patients wishing to opt out can go directly to our helpline.

Benefits of sharing your care records

The Great North Care Record allows health and care staff to see a more complete picture of your medical history. It includes vital information such as allergies, medication, test results, and any interventions you may be receiving, or have had in the past.

When staff are more informed, it helps them to make the right decisions quickly, providing better, safer care. This is especially important during emergency situations or out of normal working hours.  Only staff involved in your care, and who have a legitimate reason are allowed to view your records via the Great North Care Record.

It is your choice to be part of the Great North Care Record. Everyone living in the North East and North Cumbria is automatically opted-in to their medical record being accessible via the Great North Care Record, unless they have previously opted out of sharing GP records.

If you are happy for your records to be available, you don’t need to take any action.

How your information is protected

By law, everyone working in, or on behalf of the NHS and social care, must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe. The Great North Care Record uses a secure system that meets NHS and social care security standards. The system keeps an audit trail including the time and date when your record is accessed. If you have access to your patient record through a GP app you will be able to see this information.  You can also contact our helpline on 0344 811 9587 or email and they can check. The laws on data protection are clear and we take them very seriously. Organisations who use the Great North Care Record are responsible for ensuring only the right people access your record and have strict policies and protocols in place to prevent inappropriate access.

How to opt out

If you want to opt out of the Great North Care Record, you can speak to our helpline team on 0344 811 9587 who can do this for you. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. You can also speak to them if you have questions about what happens to your record.
However, we want anyone who does opt out, to understand that it could negatively impact the care the NHS and adult social care services can provide. If health and care staff can’t access your medical record:
  • It might mean that tests or investigations are repeated because results from other organisations can’t be accessed.
  • You may need to repeat the same information to different staff.
  • The staff treating you won’t be able to see what has happened to you in different parts of the NHS. They will only be able to see the record in their organisation such as that particular hospital or GP practice.
  • They might not know what medication you are taking.
  • It may delay treatment.
  • It will not stop health and care staff contacting one another to ask questions about your history.
  • You may not be conscious or able to share details about your medical history if you arrive at hospital.
If you choose to opt out, you are only opting out electronic sharing of your medical record through the Great North Care Record. There are other information sharing projects out there such as the Summary Care Record. As these are all operated and managed separately, you need to opt out of each one individually.
If you want to be removed from the Great North Care Record, contact the helpline on 0344 811 9587. You will need to provide us with your name, date of birth and NHS Number so we can opt you out.