Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

Sharing Electronic Records

Different parts of the NHS have a variety of IT and paper based systems to record your care. NHS services, in supporting direct patient care, need to share information with each other, in order to better understand and support patients. Dorset were an early adopter of a national service called the Summary Care Record, which, with your consent at time of a visit/call, can provide Hospital Emergency Departments and Out of Hours doctors with access to essential information about drugs you are prescribed.

There has been a lot of press coverage nationally about a service called Care.Data, intended to provide the NHS centrally with information to enable planning and funding of health in England. Some of the concerns this has raised for patients is around commercialisation of patient records  - selling the information to Universities and companies. The national project is conducting a consultation with patients, and have produced a leaflet and FAQ - see links to the right (Other formats of the leaflet are available on their website).


The attached guidance summarises these sharing mechanisms, and offers you the opportunity to opt not to have records shared. The choice can be set individually for different purposes, and you can change your mind at a later date, however, it will take time for the changes to be effected.

This covers

a) planned care - often where your GP will discuss treatment options with you and then refer you to another service for tests, investigations or treatment.

b) unplanned care - if you fall ill and need to be seen urgently in an Emergency Department, Minor Injuries unit or by an Out of Hours GP - this includes the Summary Care Record

c) planning and research - usually using annonymised data, but to follow groups of patients through treatment pathways, identifiable information is sometimes needed. This includes Care.Data

The attached leaflet summarises the benefits of sharing, and the options available for you to opt out of sharing. If you want to opt out, please ask your GP practice, or take or send the attached form to them .