NHS trying to improve care for all

Posted on 10th October 2013 | in Community

When you visit the doctor or hospital for treatment the details of your ailment and treatment are recorded and kept in a secure system. This is what most of us would expect, as we don’t want to go through our medical history every time we need to visit the doctor or hospital. In future, the NHS want to use this information to plan and improve services for all patients.

They believe that linking information from all the different places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, will help to provide a full picture. They can then compare the care you received in one area against the care you received in another, so they 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 the best care is provided for everyone. How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy.

Everybody needs to know this is about to happen and the choices you have. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special circumstances.

If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, ask your practice to make a note of this in your medical record. You should let your GP know if you want to restrict the use of this information. Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. You can change your mind at any time. If you have concerns or are not happy for your information to be shared, speak to your GP practice. More info:www.nhs.uk/caredata or www.hscic.gov.uk.

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