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Council Supports Calls for Patients to Share Information With GPs

Date Published: 04 January 2019
Health and social care

Rutland County Council is supporting calls for NHS patients to share vital information about their healthcare needs and preferences with the health and social care organisations that treat people outside of GP practices.

The majority of patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland assume that health and social care professionals other than their GP can see their full, detailed medical history. In fact, they can only see basic information such as recent medication, allergies and any sensitivities to medicines in the form of a Summary Care Record.

The three clinical commissioning groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are encouraging patients to tell their GP practice if they are happy for additional information to be included in Summary Care Records, which could then be used to treat them more appropriately and quickly, when needed. These enhanced Summary Care Records would only be available to health and social care colleagues involved directly in people’s care and GP practices can only share this information if they have patients’ consent.

To consent, patients should contact their GP practice. Consent can be given verbally or in writing.

“You may not be aware of the extent to which Council social care staff work with colleagues in the NHS to plan and deliver care locally but this relationship is extremely close and critical in order to meet people’s needs. The ability to access detailed information about patients and service users is key to providing the best possible support, particularly in cases where someone has a complex medical condition or multiple conditions that require highly personalised care. We fully support the drive to encourage more people to have and share an Enhanced Summary Care Record as this can vastly improve our ability to assess and treat people when they need our help.”
Alan Walters, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health

The majority of patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will already have a Summary Care Record, which contains their basic medical information. 

The enhanced version of the Summary Care Record contains additional information such as long term health conditions that need to be managed in a specialist way such as asthma, diabetes or rare medical conditions; it includes personal preferences such as communication needs or disability, legal decisions about a person’s healthcare in an emergency or at end of life and immunisation history. 

By patients consenting to sharing information in addition to the basic record, health and social care professionals providing patient care will have all the vital information they need to provide quicker and better treatment. 

"By working with practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, we learned that most patients assume if they go into hospital or if they have care in the community, the health and social professionals can see their full medical record. This is not the case. As GPs we need consent from the patient to share their full record with our partners. Without this consent they can only see the basic record and in an emergency they could be missing vital information about the patient’s long term health conditions, personal wishes and more. I would urge patients to talk to their GP practice about consenting to share this information. Patient’s medical records are stored safely. Records are never moved or taken outside of the GP practice and if consent is given, the information is accessed on a secure computer system which can only be accessed by appropriate local health and social care staff. The information will only be accessed in times of need to ensure the care being provided to you is appropriate.”
Dr Tony Bentley, GP lead on IT

Patients and carers should visit their GP practice and either give verbal consent to a GP or practice nurse or ask for a consent form. At the same time patients have to opportunity to add any extra health information to their record that they feel would be useful for health and social care professionals to know in an emergency.

For more information about the Summary Care Record or the enhanced Summary Care Record, ask at your GP Practice or visit the NHS website.  

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