How your GP uses your information in the practice
Your healthcare history
GPs and practice nurses collect and hold information that includes information about you, your health and the treatment and advice the doctor or nurse provide. Sometimes they record information about your home life and family if it is relevant to your health and healthcare management. Your GP practice also holds the information that is sent to them from other health services such as hospitals.
Staff working in the same practice
Within the practice, the staff work as a team and divide roles and responsibilities between them. This means it is likely members of the team, other than your doctor or nurse, may see your information in the course of their work. All of our staff are trained to handle your information properly and work according to the Data Protection Act.
Planning for future health needs
GP practices in Southwark are taking part in a new NHS service that helps your GP to spot whether you need more help to manage your health. The service is called “risk profiling”. Risk profiling will allow your practice to search all of its patients’ records to identify patients that would most benefit from particular care or treatment.
The information will be seen only by qualified health workers involved in your care. NHS security systems will protect your health information and patient confidentiality at all times. If you don’t want your information being used in this way, or have any other concerns, please speak to your GP.
Become better connected with your GP
GP practices would like to improve how they communicate with you. If you provide them with your home telephone number, mobile phone number or email address, they may call, text or email you.
How does my GP share my information with other health services I’m using?
Your GP practice may use your information to help them to deliver more effective treatment to you, and to help them to provide you with proactive advice and guidance.
With your agreement, your GP may refer you to other services and healthcare providers, or they may work with other services to provide your care in the practice. Other services and health care providers will normally tell your GP surgery about the treatment they provide you and your GP or nurse will include this in your record.
Local Care Record
Your local NHS organisations in Southwark have a duty to keep complete, accurate and up-to-date information about your health, so that you can receive the best possible care. Sometimes the people caring for you need to share some of your information with others who are also supporting you. This could include GPs, hospital based specialists, nurses and health visitors.To enable this information sharing to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place in Southwark called the Local Care Record.
Through existing computer systems, this will join up care records held on your GP practice with the three main local hospital organisations: Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. Information is only shared when it is needed to make your care and treatment safer, easier and faster and only with those people directly involved in your care. This could include allowing a hospital doctor to see the medication that a GP has prescribed for you when you go into hospital or allowing a GP to see what care, tests or treatment you received while in hospital.
Whenever possible, professionals will inform you that they are accessing your care record. This may not be possible every time, for example in an emergency, however each time a person accesses your information there will be a clear record of it. Above all the Local Care Record will allow professionals supporting you to work with you to make safer and better decisions about your care.
To find out more or if you wish for your information not to be shared, please talk to your GP or healthcare professional. You can read more and watch a film about the Local Care Record system on the King’s Health Partners website.
Summary Care Record
If you are registered with a GP practice in England and when you register at Princess Street Group Practice you will have a Summary Care Record (SCR) unless you have chosen not to have one. Your SCR contains the following basic information:
- the medicines you are taking
- your allergies
- bad reactions you may have to certain medicines
It also includes your name, address, date of birth and unique NHS number which helps to identify you correctly. An SCR is used in a number of healthcare settings and will provide healthcare professionals with any information they wouldn’t otherwise have. For example, when you’re visiting an urgent care centre or being admitted to a hospital, staff could view your SCR and discover you are on a particular medication or have allergies.
You can choose to opt out of having an SCR at any time. If you do opt out, you need to let your GP practice know by filling in an Opt-Out form. If you are unsure whether you have already opted out, you should talk to the staff at your GP practice. If you change your mind, simply ask your GP to create a new SCR for you.
For more information visit NHS England – Health Records.
Does my GP practice share my information with anyone else?
Other NHS organisations
Sometimes your practice shares information with other organisations that do not treat you, for example, the clinical commissioning group (see www.southwarkccg.nhs.uk). Normally, it will not be possible to identify you from this information. In exceptional circumstances, for example when required by law, court order or if we have specific concerns, we may share information about you with other authorities.
There are some national services like the National Cancer Screening Programme that collect and keep information from across the NHS. The is how the NHS knows when to contact you about services like cervical, breast or bowel cancer screening. Often you have the right not to allow these organisations to have your information. Please ask your GP or other practice staff about this or you can find out more about how the NHS holds and shares your information for national programmes at the NHS Website: www.nhs.uk
Occasionally your GP practice works with researchers who would like to work with patients who could help them with their research. If your GP thinks you might be suited, they will write to you and ask if you would like to participate. Your practice will never pass on your details without your consent.
Download our Your Health Records Information.