A modern information system has been developed, which will make increased use of information from medical records with the intention of improving health services. The system is being delivered by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and NHS England on behalf of the NHS.
It is important that the NHS can use this information to get a complete picture of what is happening across health and social care and to plan services according to what works best. The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including hospitals and GP practices.
Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.
The new system will also provide information that will enable the public to hold the NHS to account and ensure that any unacceptable standards of care are identified as quickly as possible. Information will help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
- guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients
- support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients
It is important that you read the leaflet How information about you helps us to provide better care (PDF, 344kb) so that you understand how information in medical records can be used to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.
If you are happy for your information to be used then you do not need to do anything. But if you have concerns you should talk to your GP.
If you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, talk to a member of staff at your practice. They will make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your information being used other than where necessary by law, such as in case of a public health emergency. You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care from. However, this will not affect the care you receive.
You can change your mind at any time and as many times as you wish. Just speak to your GP practice and ask them to record your wishes. For example, if you state that you are happy for your information to be used then you later decide that you object, tell your GP and the HSCIC will then ensure that any information they have from your GP practice and that could identify you is removed.
Information from GP practices will begin to be extracted and sent to the HSCIC in the autumn 2013. The GP data will be linked with the hospital data already held by the HSCIC.
For more information about how data is collected and shared, including confidentiality, read the Q&A below or download the FAQ for patients (PDF, 153kb) produced by the HSCIC and NHS England.
Information Sharing Agreement
The purpose of the Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) is to provide a view of some key elements of the GP record for other clinicians in the local health system to use.
In order to provide quality, safe care, it is necessary for clinical colleagues to be able to view elements of a patient’s record during a consultation. This access is for the purposes of direct care by those who have a legitimate relationship with the patient, and who are seeing the patient in a face-to-face consultation.
In addition to this ISA, patient consent to view information will be obtained at the point of consultation.
This information sharing will be facilitated by a software package called MIG (Medical Interoperability Gateway). MIG will enable information sharing between all clinical stakeholders in the local health system. This includes: Nottingham West GP practices, NEMs, Primary and Integrated Care Services (PICS), Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, Nottinghamshire Healthcare, including Community Health Partnerships, Nottingham CityCare partnership.
MIG allows clinicians to view a subset of Read-coded information from SystmOne clinical information system. MIG does not store data, but enables different systems to view this information in real time. No data will be stored by signatories as part of this ISA.
Only healthcare professionals will have sight of patient information and, in line with legal Caldicott principles, this will be at the minimum level required.
The information shared via MIG will be a limited set of read coded data, outlined in the table below. This data is based on the minimum requirements of what is necessary for patients receiving care in an urgent, out-of-hours setting. This data does not include free text.
Summary, including current problems, current medication, allergies, and recent tests
Medication including current, past and issues
Risks and warnings
Examination (blood pressure only)
Events consisting of encounters, admissions and referrals
The following organisations will be able to view elements of patient information at the point of direct care:
Nottingham West practices
Primary and Integrated Care Services (PICS)
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust
East Midlands Ambulance Service
Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare, including Community Health Partnerships
Nottingham CityCare Partnership
Derbyshire Health United 111