Data-Sharing and General Data Protection Regulations

Data Sharing and General Data Protection Regulations

From 25th May 2018 a new data privacy law will be introduced in the UK. As a result, we’ve produced some new privacy notices which detail how the NHS uses and protects your information.

• The practice handles medical records according to the laws on data protection and confidentiality.
• We share medical records with health professionals who are involved in providing you with care and treatment. This is on a need to know basis and event by event.
• Some of your data is automatically copied to the Shared Care Summary Record/ECS.
• We may/do share some of your data with local out of hours/urgent or emergency services.
• Data about you is used to manage national screening campaigns such as flu, cervical cytology and diabetes prevention.
• Data about you, usually de-identified, is used to manage the NHS and make payments.
• We share information when the law requires us to do so, for instance when we are inspected or reporting certain illnesses or safeguarding vulnerable patients.
• Your data is used to check the quality of care provided by the NHS.
• We may also share medical records for medical research.
• The Guildhall & Barrow Surgery complies with NHS Retention Periods.
If you are unhappy with the data we retain or who we share it with, please contact the surgery. If you are still dissatisfied then you can contact the Information Commissioners Office helpline Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 (national rate).

The clip below provides an informative overview of how data sharing can benefit you.


1. Care.Data

 The initiative was due to begin on 1st April 2014 but is currently on hold. It is expected that this will start again in June/July 2014. Patient information is uploaded from all health and social care environments to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The primary purpose of this is for the HSCIC to use this information to ascertain health and social care needs for the UK. There is a secondary option to share the information further in the future but there is no detail on this at present. Inclusion is by implied consent, patients should opt-out if they do not wish to be included. Patients can opt-out of the practice sharing information with the HSCIC or from sharing outside the HSCIC by using our opt-out online form or by completing an opt-out form available at both surgeries. More information can be found here

2. Summary Care Record 

There is a new Central NHS Computer System called the Summary Care Record (SCR). The Summary Care Record is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. Initially, it will contain just your medications and allergies.

Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.

Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases. As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.

On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.

For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out (by contacting the surgery here or in person)

 3. Enhanced Data Sharing (via our new SystmOne system)

 The practice uses a ‘cloud-based’ clinical computer system called SystmOne to store your medical information. The system is also used by other GP practices, Child Health Services, Community Services, Hospitals, Out of Hours, Palliative Care services and many more. This means your information can be shared  with other clinicians so that everyone caring for you is fully informed about your medical history including medication and allergies. To find how your medical information is shared with other organisations that use this system, and how you can control this, please read our leaflet – Summary Records – EDSM Final (3)

To opt-out of enhanced data sharing click  here

You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything.

Please consider the above 3 methods carefully & separately & use the 3 separate opt-out methods clearly.

You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances.

What is my NHS Number?