GPs to share patient medical records in new digital system
PATIENT records will be shared by GP practices as part of a new health and social care system being rolled out across the north of England — but patients can still opt out.
The NHS is creating a new digital information system, which will use routine details from medical records to help improve health services.
The system — known as care.data — is being rolled out by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in the north of England on behalf of NHS England this autumn.
GP practices in Bolton will take information from patient medical records every month and this will automatically be sent to the HSCIC.
A patient’s date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender, rather than their name, will be used to link their records in a secure online system, managed by the HSCIC.
People happy to have their information shared do not have to do anything, but those who object are urged to speak to a member of staff at their practice.
GP practices across Bolton are handing out leaflets to their patients, and some may have received a text to tell them about the new system.
A spokesman for the Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People should be reassured this is a national NHS programme, which will adhere to the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality.
"The information will be stored in a secure way and the HSCIC is bound by legislation to ensure confidential data is protected at all times.”
Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council’s health, overview and scrutiny committee, encouraged patients to opt in, if it made sharing records more efficient.
He said: “If it means information sharing between different departments and NHS trusts is made easier, then I welcome this new system. But patients must be aware of it before it happens.”
For more details, go here.
Comments are closed on this article.