This week we have been advised to alert all patients to the fact that NHS England is commissioning a modern data service from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on behalf of the entire health and social care system.
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”
Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.
It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what has worked best.
Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the best care possible for everyone.
How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.
We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.
More information can be found on
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has the power to direct the HSCIC to collect information from all providers of NHS care, including general practices.
HSCIC provide national information and information technology (IT) systems to health and social care organisations so they can provide better services and improve health standards.
This includes presenting data in a way that can be easily understood, providing systems that make it easier to access and use the data, and setting IT and information standards.