How information about you helps us to provide better care.
The NHS is changing and services are being restructured. These reforms will impact upon the way that clinical data are collected, shared and analysed. Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA), the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) can, under certain circumstances require Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP practices without seeking patient consent. One of the first initiatives using these new powers is the care.data service. This service has been commissioned by NHS England and will be delivered by the HSCIC. The HSCIC is England’s central authoritative source of health and social care information. Care.data will make increased use of information from medical records with the intention of improving healthcare, for example by ensuring that timely and accurate data are made available to NHS commissioners and providers so that they can better design integrated services for patients. In the future, approved researchers may also benefit. The HSCIC will link PCD extracted from GP systems with PCD from other health and social care settings. The BMA supports the use of patient data for secondary purposes, including commissioning, and recognises the importance of greater transparency and more intelligent use of data to improve the quality of care delivered to patients. Achieving these aims must not undermine existing high standards of confidentiality. NHS England has made a commitment that personal confidential data will not be shared unless there is a legal basis or an overriding public interest in disclosure.
Confidential information from your medical records can be used by the NHS to improve the services offered so we can provide the best possible care for everyone. This information along with your postcode and NHS number but not your name, are sent to a secure system where it can be linked with other health information. This allows those planning NHS services or carrying out medical research to use information from different parts of the NHS in a way which does not identify you. You have a choice. If you are happy for your information to be used in this way you do not have to do anything. If you have any concerns or wish to prevent this from happening, please speak to practice staff or ask at reception for a copy of the leaflet “How information about you helps us to provide better care”. More information can be found here www.nhs.uk/caredata