Patient Record

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.

Emergency Care Summary

There is a Central NHS Computer System called the Emergency Care Summary (ECS). The Emergency Care Summary is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. It will contain information on your medications and allergies.

Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held securely on central NHS databases.   

As with all 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. If you don’t want an Emergency Care Summary to be made for you, tell your GP surgery. Don’t forget that if you do have an Emergency Care Summary, you will be asked if staff can look at it every time they need to. You don’t have to agree to this.

Want to know more about your patient record?

Practices are increasingly enabling patients to be able to request repeat prescriptions and book appointments online.

Some patients may wish to access more information online and contractually from 1st April 2015 practices are obliged to assist access to medications, allergies and adverse reactions as a minimum and from the 1st April 2016 coded data.

However this requires additional considerations as outlined in this leaflet. You will be asked that you have read and understood this leaflet before consenting and applying to access your records online. You will need a SystmOnline account before you can have access to your online records and photo ID is required upon registration.

Please note:

  • It will be your responsibility to keep your login details and password safe and secure. If you know or suspect that your record has been accessed by someone that you have not agreed should see it, then you should change your password immediately.
  • If you can’t do this for some reason, we recommend that you contact the practice so that they can remove online access until you are able to reset your password.
  • If you print out any information from your record, it is also your responsibility to keep this secure. If you are at all worried about keeping printed copies safe, we recommend that you do not make copies at all.
  • The practice may not be able to offer online access due to a number of reasons such as concerns that it could cause harm to physical or mental health or where there is reference to third parties. The practice has the right to remove online access to services for anyone that doesn’t use them responsibly.

Doctors and staff in the practice have access to your medical records to enable them to do their jobs. From time to time information may be shared with others involved in your care if it is necessary. Anyone with access to your record is properly trained in confidentiality issues and is governed by both a legal and contractual duty to keep your details private.

Please be aware that this request may take up to 30 days to process.   You will be informed by text or e-mail once your request has been actioned.

Key considerations

Before you access we ask you to consider:

Forgotten history

There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.

Abnormal results or bad news 

If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting to you. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them.

Choosing to share your information with someone

It’s up to you whether or not you share your information with others – perhaps family members or carers. It’s your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure. 

Coercion

If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, it is best that you do not register for access at this time.

Misunderstood information

Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care.  Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood. If you require further clarification, please contact the surgery for a clearer explanation.

Information about someone else

If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.

Click here for the Proxy Online Access to Records Form

Please use this form if you wish to have proxy access to SystmOnline on behalf of another person.  Please be aware that any patients over 13 years old need to sign this form.  Please return the form to rowden.surgery@nhs.net, drop off at our Reception Desk or post.

Proxy Access Consent Form.pdf