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Information for patients

Most GP surgeries and hospitals in London can now use the London Care Record and also share information into it.

Some community health and care services, out of hours, the London Ambulance Service and other NHS 111 services are also able to use the London Care Record.

You can read a full list of health and care organisations connected to the London Care Record here.

As some people living outside London receive specialist treatment in the Capital, and vice versa, we are working to connect neighbouring areas to the London Care Record where there are regular and high numbers of patient referrals. This process has begun with Milton Keynes University Hospital and some health and care providers in Hertfordshire and West Essex. More recently staff at Oxford University Hospitals have started using the London Care Record. Over time we plan to connect other areas neighbouring London to the London Care record where there is a clear clinical need.

Involving the public is central to our work to transform London’s health and care services by joining up information including a Citizen’s Summit involving 100 members of the public representative of communities across London.

Citizens’ Summit highlights

This work has shown that people expect health and care data to be accessed and used by those who need it to support their individual care with sensible safeguards being in place.

The London Care Record has these measures in place with access to it logged, monitored and regularly audited to ensure it is lawful, secure and fair.

The OneLondon programme is committed to ongoing public engagement as we further develop the London Care Record and current opportunities to get involved are published here.

The information displayed in the London Care Record is only a partial record of what is held about you by health and care organisations across London.

The London Care Record is a view of some of your personal information (or personal data) for your health and care. It includes:

  • Identifying Data such as your name, address, date of birth

  • Details about appointments you have had in different places – eg your hospital or GP

  • Diagnosed conditions – to make sure your clinical and care staff can provide appropriate care

  • Medication – so everyone treating you can see what medicines you have been prescribed

  • Allergies – to make sure you’re not given any medicines or treatments that you could have an adverse reaction to

  • Test or scan results – to make sure your clinical and care staff can provide appropriate care, and to help ensure tests are not repeated if this isn’t necessary

  • Referrals, clinical letters and discharge information – to make sure the people caring for you have all the information they need about other care and treatment you are having elsewhere

  • Care plans (if / where available) – for health and care workers involved in your care to view a joined-up plan of care and the wishes you’ve asked for in relation to your care

The information shared varies from organisation to organisation and depends on each computer system’s technical ability to connect and share.

Wherever possible, health and care professionals will be able to access your records from other services when it is needed for your care. For example a hospital doctor, community nurse or social worker involved in your care could view the information they need from your GP record, and your GP can access information about the care you receive in hospital.

An administrator may access your records under the direction of a health and care professional providing care to you. For example to check details of appointments and help co-ordinate your care.

Often staff will look at the London Care Record when you are with them – for example in a clinic or a surgery. For many health and care staff, they might want to review your records and history before they meet you – such as before a hospital out-patient appointment. Having access to more information about you helps them to be more informed and ask the right questions when they see you. This helps makes your care safer.

At the moment not all health and care staff in London have access to the London Care Record. We are developing the London Care Record so more staff can see helping to make care in London even safer. However, the whole process will take time to complete.

London Care Record Organisations

No, your records are confidential.

The London Care Record can only be lawfully looked at by staff who are directly involved in your care.

Your doctors, nurses and other care staff rely on good communication with you – as well as with each other – to provide the best care possible. Your information isn’t available to anyone who doesn’t need it to provide treatment, care and support to you.

Your details are kept safe and won’t be made public, passed on to a third party who is not directly involved in your care, used for advertising or sold.

London Care Record Organisations

The London Care Record provides a ‘view only’ access to your records.

This means that the information in your records can only be changed directly within your local GP, social care or hospital computer systems.

The London Care Record simply displays this information more widely across the health and social care system to staff who are caring for you.

The information displayed in the London Care Record is a view of the records held by multiple health and care organisations in London. This means that no data is created or changed in the London Care Record system.

London Care Record Organisations

The London Care Record will only be used by professionals involved in your care.

Third parties, companies or individuals not directly involved in your care will not be able to view your record. Insurance companies do not have access to the London Care Record.

The London Care Record will only be used by professionals involved in your care. It is not used by organisations who are involved in your benefits. It will not affect your benefits.

No.

The London Care Record is based on care being provided to people in London.

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is a way for the NHS to allow some of your information to be shared nationally. All patients have a Summary Care Record, created from key pieces of information from GP records.

To help the NHS to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, additional information was included in the national Summary Care Records (SCR), unless you told the NHS that you did not want your information to be shared.

You can find out more here

By law, everyone working in, or on behalf of the NHS and social care, must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe.

The London Care Record uses a secure system that meets NHS and social care security standards. The system keeps an audit trail including the time and date when your record is accessed.

The London Care Record approach is in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which provides the legal basis to share information between health and care services when it is needed to deliver care.

The laws on data protection are clear. All your information is secure and restricted to authorised staff only. Organisations who use the London Care Record are responsible for ensuring only the right people access your record and have strict policies and protocols in place.

Your information can only be accessed over a secure healthcare network. An audit trail is maintained to record access to your records.

By law, all people working in health and social care or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe.

The NHS Digital Code of Practice on Confidential Information applies to all of our staff, and they are required to protect your information, inform you of how your information will be used, and allow you to decide if and how your information can be shared.

All staff with access to Personal Data are trained to ensure information is always kept confidential.

Yes. You can object to sharing your information in the London Care Record.

Not sharing may mean that it will take the people who are caring for you (such as nurses, doctors and social workers) longer to work out the best way to help you.

Sharing information is often very important for your care. When staff are more informed, it helps them to make the right decisions quickly, providing better and safer care. This is especially important during emergency situations or out of normal working hours.

Only health and social care professionals involved in your care are allowed to access your information. These people are viewing your record to give you the best quality care they can.

If you have concerns about your data being shared, you can raise an objection. However, if you do register an objection, you should understand that it could negatively impact the care you receive. If health and care staff are unable to access your medical record –

  • It might mean that tests or investigations are repeated because results from other organisations can’t be viewed

  • You may need to repeat the same information to different NHS staff

    • The staff treating you won’t be able to see what has happened to you in different parts of the NHS

    • They might not know what medication you’re taking

    • It will not stop health and care staff contacting one another to ask questions about your history

If you have concerns about your data being shared and want to raise an objection, the best way to do this is by contacting the staff who are providing your care, but if you’re not sure, there are some links below. Depending where you live there are different processes to follow.

If you live in south east London click here

If you live in north east London click here

If you live in north west London click here

If you live in north central London click here

If you live in south west London click here

If you live in Milton Keynes click here

If you live in Hertfordshire and West Essex click here

You should also be aware that if you choose to object, you are only objecting to electronic sharing of your medical record in the London Care Record. Other information sharing projects – such as the national Summary Care Record – are operated and managed separately, so you need to object to each programme individually.

There may be circumstances where your objection may not be upheld. For example if there is a safeguarding issue, or in the case of an individual who might be at risk from harming themselves or a member of the public, or in an emergency.

Please note, during a period of national emergency, objections will not generally apply to the information used – such as with the coronavirus (COVID-19) response. This is due to the public interest in sharing information.

Your carer can only decide if they have the legal power to make decisions for you. This is usually through a power of attorney.

Yes. The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, on computer and in certain manual records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your health and social care records.

The London Care Record enables health and care professionals to access information about you and it provides a ‘view only’ access to your records. This means that the information in your records is actually held within your local GP, social care or hospital computer systems. (The London Care Record simply displays this information more widely across the health and social care system to staff who are caring for you.)

The information displayed in the London Care Record is only a partial record of what is held about you by the NHS organisations across London. This means that the full record is actually held within your local GP, social care or hospital computer systems.

If you want to see the full records held by these organisations, please contact them directly. For example please contact your own General Practice directly for a copy of your GP record.

Each organisation who provides care to you will be able to share the records they hold about you with you. You can also access your GP record using the NHS App.

More information about accessing your own records can be found here

Under the Data Protection Legislation, you have the right to:

  • be informed of our uses of your data

  • request copies of your personal information (this is referred to as a Subject Access Request or ‘SAR’)

  • have any factual inaccuracies corrected

  • object to the processing of your personal data

All NHS, local authority and social care organisations have complaints procedures.

If you wish to make a complaint, please contact your care provider such as your GP, hospital consultant, social worker or speak to their PALS (Patients Advisors and Liaisons Services) / Complaints department.

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding breaches of confidentiality.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy, data sharing issues and your rights you can contact: Information Commissioner’s Office; Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire, K9 5AF, Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745

Email: casework@ico.org.uk
Visit the ICO website

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