When a patient registers at a practice a transaction is sent to the Health authority notifying them that they are a new patient. Your paper medical records from your previous practice will then be sent to the Health Authority and transferred to your new practice. The process of receiving your paper medical records normally runs smoothly but it can sometimes take up to three months. Once the practice receives these records they are summarised so that everything the GP needs to know about your health is made available on our computer Medical Records.
Currently many practices country wide including our own are using a computor record system called, SystemOne. If a patient moves from one SystemOne practice to another, all relevant medical information is ready to see by the GP on the patient’s screen on the computer as soon as the patient has registered, although paper medical records are still thoroughly checked once they are received later.
Sharing Medical Records
There are times when a patient’s medical record will be shared between health providers. The patient’s permission to allow this to happen is always requested at the time of referral. Patients are quite at liberty not give their permission, however it is thought that optimum care can be given when the most medical information available is at the health provider’s disposal.
Summary Care Records
The Summary Care Record (SCR ) is a new Central NHS Computer System designed as a new way of caring for you in an emergency. The Summary Care Record will help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. It will give healthcare staff faster, easier access to reliable information about you to help with your treatment.
Your information will be obtained from practices and held on a secure central NHS system. You can choose whether or not to have a Summary Care Record. If you decide to have a Summary Care Record it will contain important information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have had. You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if you ask for the information to be included. You should discuss your wishes with the healthcare staff treating you.
Only healthcare staff involved in supporting or providing your care can see your Summary Care Record. These:
- need to be directly involved in caring for you;
- need to have an NHS Smartcard with a chip and passcode (like a bank card and PIN);
- will only see the information they need to do their job; and
- should have their details recorded.
Healthcare staff will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you, for example if you are unconscious, they may look at your Summary Care Record without asking you. If they do this, they will make a note on your record to say why they have done so.
Existing patients will already have been contacted by letter and been given the opportunity to opt out. Patients can opt out of the scheme at any time by informing their practice and completing a simple form.
Useful Links about Summary Care Records:
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act creates a right of access to recorded information and obliges a public authority to:
- Have a publication scheme in place
- Allow public access to information held by public authorities.
The Act covers any recorded organizational information such as reports, policies or strategies, that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland, however it does not cover personal information such as patient records which are covered by the Data Protection Act.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.
The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner who regulates both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.
Parkside publication scheme
A publication scheme requires an authority to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. The scheme lists information under seven broad classes, which are:
- who we are and what we do
- what we spend and how we spend it
- what our priorities are and how we are doing it
- how we make decisions
- our policies and procedures
- lists and registers
- the services we offer.
You can request our publication scheme leaflet at the surgery.
Who can request information?
Under the Act, any individual, anywhere in the world, is able to make a request to a practice for information. An applicant is entitled to be informed in writing, by the practice, whether the practice holds information of the description specified in the request and if that is the case, have the information communicated to him. An individual can request information, regardless of whether he/she is the subject of the information or affected by its use.
How should requests be made?
- be made in writing (this can be electronically eg email/fax)
- state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence
- describe the information requested.
What cannot be requested?
Personal data about staff and patients covered under Data Protection Act.
For more information see these websites:
Accessing your Medical Records
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are entitled to access your medical records or any other personal information held about you. However, there is a fee for any copies of your records, please ask our secretary for the cost. Request must be made in writing with your full name, date of birth, address and details of the specific information you require and any relevant dates.
For more information see these websites: