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Shared Health and Care Record FAQs

Detailed below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the Shared Health and Care Record.

It is owned and governed by the local NHS organisations and local authorities of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes as listed above.

The benefits of sharing records are as follows:

  • Reduces how often you need to repeat your health and social care history to health and care professionals involved in your care and support.
  • Improves your safety, the clinicians have up to date medications and allergy information direct from the GP system.
  • Improves clinical decision making, the clinician can see recent visits and also any tests requested and prescriptions issued.
  • Improves clinical efficiency, by ensuring the clinical teams have appropriate and timely access to clinical information to inform your care.

This is local, you may have heard of similar projects in other areas.

No, each organisation currently keeps their own records. For example, everyone who is registered at a GP practice will have a record kept at that practice. Currently this is not shared with any other organisation.

If you attend a local hospital, they will create their own record, and the same for social care services. Many of these records are now held electronically, which means that we can now start to bring all the information together in one place for a fuller picture to support care needs.

Anyone aged 18 or over who is registered with a GP practice in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes will be included.  If you’re registered with a practice outside these areas, you’ll need to contact your GP to see if you’re included in their local record sharing programme.

Yes, everyone has a record to help health and social care professionals offer the best possible care.

As the network of health and care records expands, more health and care professionals from other organisations who are directly involved in your care will be able to access your information. This will include hospitals if you are holidaying in England. Organisations in different areas will have their record systems connected at different times over the next few months.

For health and social care organisations to be able to keep records about you, by law they must comply with the Data Protection Legislation. All staff members within these organisations receive training on their responsibilities under the Legislation.

Your record is kept on a secure database and is not shared with anyone who is not directly involved in your care. Every time anyone accesses your record, a log is kept of who they are and what they looked at.

Use of your information is governed by existing rules and regulations to protect patient confidentiality. The NHS and local authorities take data management and security of confidential information very seriously.

Information held will not be made public, used for advertising, or sold. Professionals accessing your information are subject to the existing codes of conduct for NHS and local authority staff, which means they must respect patient privacy and keep all information about you safe.

For more information about how the NHS handles your health records visit NHS Choices.

Yes. You have the right, under the Data Protection Legislation, to request access to any information that organisations like the NHS hold about you.

This includes copies of paper, electronic and hybrid patient health records. For more information about how to view your health care or social care records, please visit the relevant health and care organisation’s website.

Some sensitive information is withheld from your shared record. Sensitive information such as attendance at sexual health clinics, fertility treatment records, and records relating to gender reassignment will not be included.

An Information Sharing Agreement is in place to ensure the appropriate exclusions are in place to meet legal/statutory requirements and sensitivity concerns.

You are able to object and prevent your data being viewed on the system, though please be aware that we do not recommend this.

If you choose to object, your information will not be available via the Shared Health and Care Record, however it will continue to be shared by health and care organisations by phone, email, and on paper where required as part of your direct care.  Please consider carefully before raising an objection as it could mean vital information about you is not immediately available when you require health or social care support.

Below are the steps and process to support requests to exercise a Right to Object:

  1. Patients/service users may ask their health or care provider about objecting to their information being viewed in the local Shared Health and Care Record.

 

  1. All requests need to be processed by your health or care provider, as the objection needs to be updated in the clinical system to stop data being viewed. Patients have the option to obtain further information around objection. More information is available from the individual organisations.

 

  1. The health or care provider will review the request and contact the patient or service user should there be any concern with the potential request to object. When the objection is confirmed, the clinical system should be updated.

 

  1. Patients and service users can reverse their Right to Object decision at any point. Once the clinical system is updated with the objection reversal change, patient data will be viewable in the BLMK Shared Health and Care Record by all partners.

A parent or guardian can raise an objection in relation to a child they are responsible for and their data being viewed within the Shared Health and Care Record, however the age and competency of that child must be taken into consideration.   Your child’s health and care professional will have input into this decision as part of their duty of care to the child.

If you object to the Shared Health and Care Record, you can remove the objection at any time by contacting your health or care professional who can update the clinical system.  Your record will then be automatically updated to enable health and social care professionals to view the information.

Care.data is a national NHS service which collects non-identifiable patient information from GP practices to help in planning services and research. The local Shared Health and Care Record is not linked to care.data in any way. If you already opted out of care.data you will still need to let us know if you want to opt out of the local Shared Health and Care Record.

The Shared Health and Care Record provides a more detailed view of your health, care and treatment records from your local health and social care organisations. The Summary Care Record is used nationally and contains important information from the record held by your GP practice. It includes details of any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced. The Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS number to help identify you correctly. If you have already opted out of the Summary Care Record you will still need to let us know if you want to opt out of the Shared Health and Care Record.

GPs, nurses and social workers work closely together to ensure local people get the best possible care and support. Although the BLMK Shared Health and Care Record will not contain all of your social care information, it is likely to contain some that is relevant to your care, treatment or support. This may include information about a hospital stay, hospital discharge or support you are receiving in the community. Our ambition in the future is to include more social care information to further support and completely join up your care. We will provide you with more information about this in the future.

No, the Shared Health and Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care and support by professionals involved in your care.

No, the Shared Health and Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care and support by health and social care professionals involved in your care.

The Shared Health and Care Record allows professionals involved in your care to view your record and improve the health and care services they provide to you. The system in England is growing and over time will include your care records held in organisations from other counties. In the meantime, organisations and professionals will still continue to share information in other ways, which may take a little more time than being able to access your electronic Shared Health and Care Record.

No, your personal information will never be shared with or sold to external or private organisations including research or insurance companies.

Please talk to your health or care professional. You will need to complain directly to the organisation you believe has misused your information. Details of their complaints procedures are available on each of their websites.