Sharing Your Medical Record

Increasingly, patient medical data is shared e.g. between GP surgeries and District Nursing, in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when attending patients.

The systems we operate require that any sharing of medical information is consented to by patients beforehand. Patients must consent to sharing of the data held by a health provider out to other health providers and must also consent to which of the other providers can access their data.

e.g. it may be necessary to share data held in GP practices with district nurses but the local podiatry department would not need to see it to undertake their work. In this case, patients would allow the surgery to share their data, they would allow the district nurses to access it but they would not allow access by the podiatry department. In this way access to patient data is under patients' control and can be shared on a 'need to know' basis.

Summary Care Record

Your Summary Care Record is a short summary of your GP medical records. It tells other health and care staff who care for you about the medicines you take and your allergies.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) response: Additional Information is included in your SCR

To help the NHS to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Additional Information will be included in Summary Care Records for patients by default, unless you have previously told the NHS that you did not want this information to be shared.

This will enable health and care professionals to have better medical information about you when they are treating you at the point of care. This change will apply for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic only. Unless alternative arrangements have been put in place before the end of the emergency period, this change will be reversed. 

All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.

Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.

Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, have previously agreed to have Additional Information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This Additional Information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations.

During the coronavirus pandemic period, your Summary Care Record will automatically have Additional Information included from your GP record unless you have previously told the NHS that you did not want this information to be shared.

There will also be a temporary change to include COVID-19 specific codes in relation to suspected, confirmed, Shielded Patient List and other COVID-19 related information within the Additional Information.

By including this Additional Information in your SCR, health and care staff can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual GP practice:

  • in an emergency
  • when you're on holiday
  • when your surgery is closed
  • at out-patient clinics
  • when you visit a pharmacy

Opting out

The purpose of SCR is to improve the care that you receive, however, if you don't want to have an SCR you have the option to opt out. If this is your preference please inform your GP or fill in an SCR opt-out form and return it to your GP practice.

Regardless of your past decisions about your Summary Care Record consent preferences, you can change your mind at any time. You can choose any of the following options:

  1. To have a Summary Care Record with Additional Information shared. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see a enriched Summary Care Record if they need to provide you with direct care.
  2. To have a Summary Care Record with core information only. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see information about allergies and medications only in your Summary Care Record if they need to provide you with direct care.
  3. To opt-out of having a Summary Care Record altogether. This means that you do not want any information shared with other authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals involved in your direct care, including in an emergency.

To make these changes, you should inform your GP practice or complete the SCR patient consent preferences form and return it to us.