Important Information about your Health Records
The NHS is developing a new way of storing information called the Summary Care Record (SCR). You should have received a letter from the local Primary Care Trust giving more information about the Summary Care Record and how it will be used.
Your Summary Care Record is an electronic record about your health. At first it will contain information about the medicines you take regularly, any allergies you have, and any problems you have had with medicines. This information will be uploaded from your medical records held at this surgery and held on a national NHS database, sometimes known as the ‘spine’. It will be available for healthcare professionals to access, usually with your permission, unless you are too ill to give it. Only those directly involved in your care will be permitted to access your record, and the Government says that strict security measures will be in place at all times to prevent unauthorised access.
If you do not take any action, you will have a Summary Care Record. This is because the Government Agency responsible for the Summary Care Record, called Connecting for Health, is assuming that everyone wants a Summary Care Record unless they opt out.
This practice believes that, as a patient, you should have the right to actively choose what should happen to your medical records and whether we should transfer information in these records to other organisations.
We are actively publicising details of the Summary Care Record to remind you that unless you send the practice an opt-out form (link to download form below), the clinical system used at the practice will automatically create a Summary Care Record for you and this will soon be uploaded onto the NHS national database.
Work on the Summary Care Record project is continuing to progress and it is envisaged that practice across South West London will go live with the uploading of patient data at some point during 2012/13. It is important to note that if you DO NOT want your data uploaded to the Summary Care Record, that you complete an Opt Out form and bring it to the practice.
If you don't opt out from the Summary Care Record now but change your mind at a later date, and decide that you want to opt out, it is important to be aware that if your SCR has ever been viewed by a medical professional, then whilst you can stop any further information from being added to it, you will not be able to have the previous data deleted. It can however be 'hidden' so that healthcare staff can't see it and can only gain access to it by submitting a request in writing. If following investigation, access is deemed to be necessary, it will be granted.
Whilst at the current time Summary Care Records are not being created for any patients under the age of 16, this may happen in the future. If you are a parent or guardian and you do not want your child or children’s records uploaded, you will need to tell the practice this by completing an opt out form - one opt out form will not suffice for a whole family; if you think your child or children are old enough to understand what is being proposed, you should talk it through with them.
You can obtain further information about the Summary Care Record by:
§ Asking at the practice reception
§ Ringing the NHS Care Records Service Information Line on 0845 603 8510
§ Logging onto http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk
You may also find some of these documents useful;