These FAQs are accompanied by a Privacy Notice which covers many privacy and legal issues in more depth.
What Surrey Care Record is and what’s in it
When fully operational the Surrey Care Record will be an extract of records from health and social care providers that can be seen and used by authorised staff in the health and care system who are involved directly in your care. Phase One of the project, commencing 29 August 2018, will see some GP records being made available to professionals within the A&E departments of the four local hospital trusts – St Peter’s, Royal Surrey, Epsom and East Surrey. Local GPs will have access to the Surrey Care Record too. The remaining phases of the project are still under development.
Initially the Surrey Care Record will hold:
- Basic information such as your name, address, postcode, NHS Number, age and GP practice details;
- Limited information from your health records held by your GP Practice and Hospitals such as test results, medications and allergies
In time, additional health and social care providers will begin to share data into the Surrey Care Record. Each organisation will be responsible for deciding what information about their service users should be shared into the Surrey Care Record. This will ensure the most important information is shared.
The Surrey Care Record project follows many years of engagement by the NHS discussing the concept of shared records with the public nationwide.
You can talk informally to any health or social care professional providing you with care during an appointment and ask to see the information they hold about you.
Some GP Practices will also allow you to access your GP records online. You can check with your Practice to see if you are able to access a summary of your GP record on their website. If so, they can give instructions on how to access your record. The availability of this type of access is a matter for individual Practices.
In either case, you can go through any concerns you may have about the accuracy of the information with the relevant professional who will be able to update the records they hold about you. They will then be able to share accurate and up to date information with other professionals via the Surrey Care Record.
There are also proposals to extend direct access to patients but these plans have yet to be finalised. In the meantime only health and social care professionals will have access.
Who can see your records?
The Surrey Care Record supports the provision of direct care and enables health and social care providers to fulfil their legal duty to share information about patients where this will support their care. Where information is shared in this way, consent is not required under the GDPR and the regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has specifically advised that consent should not be relied upon in these circumstances. Please see the Privacy Notice for full details of how the Surrey Care Record complies with the GDPR.
Only health and social care professionals engaged in your direct care will be permitted to access your record. The Surrey Care Record will eventually give health and social care staff the ability to share relevant information about you with other health and social care providers. This will support you as you travel through the health and social care system and engage with different health and social care providers.
Care professionals will be trained to ask you before viewing your Surrey Care Record so you will have the opportunity to decide if you agree or not.
If you do agree, we have built safeguards into the system to ensure that each type of care professional can only access the parts of your record they need to see in order to provide you with safe and effective care.
If at any point you decide that you no longer wish to have the information within your Surrey Care Record shared between professionals, you can inform any of the participating organisations who will be able to disable your Surrey Care Record. Once your Surrey Care Record is disabled this will prevent any professional from accessing the information about you which had previously been shared.
If you would like to restrict the sharing of certain parts of your record, you should speak to the relevant organisation or team who hold the information you would like to restrict. They will be able to amend the sharing preferences for you to prevent other professionals or organisations from being able to access the information they have provided into your Surrey Care Record.
Under the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015, providers of health and social care services have a duty to share your information where this is in support of your direct care. The Surrey Care Record helps those providing you with direct care to meet this legal duty, as well as ensuring your information is shared with those who have a need to know in order to provide you with the best possible care.
In most circumstances, professionals will ask for your permission to access your Surrey Care Record before they do so. This will provide you with an opportunity to object if you are not happy for them to view the information.
The only exception is if you are unable to provide consent (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate). In these circumstances, the healthcare professional may decide to look at the record because doing so is considered to be in your best interest.
The security and use of your information
No. The Surrey Care Record will only be used by authorised health and social care professionals to provide you with care. Your records and information will never be sold or given to insurance companies, drug companies or be used for research.
No. Other national programmes you may have heard of are completely separate. The Surrey Care Record is only integrating data in Surrey Heartlands and the area covered by NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group. We are only using the data to support your direct care.
The Surrey Care Record will only be used by authorised health and social care professionals to provide you with care. If at any stage there is a recommendation for your data to be used in any other way, or for other purposes, there will be a full consultation with the public.
Your information will be stored securely inside the NHS network and will be encrypted. The Surrey Care Record will only be accessible to health a social care professionals who will only access your information where they or their team are directly involved in your care and have a lawful basis to access your record (e.g. your consent).
Children and young people will also benefit from the Surrey Care Record. Nevertheless, those who hold parental responsibility for children and young people can choose to opt them out of the scheme. The UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 (which came into effect May 2018) has clarified that the age of majority for decisions relating to the use of data is 13. This has been seen as a change from the widely held view that decisions like this cannot be made until the age of 16. Young people can therefore make their own choices about the Surrey Care Record and the sharing of their health information from the age of 13.
Shared records like the Surrey Care Record provide a range of benefits to both patients and medical staff including:
- Reducing the amount of times you will need to repeat your medical history or social care information every time you deal with a new member of staff, service or organisation
- Clinical staff will be able to work with patients in their care to make the best decisions about their diagnosis, treatment and care plan
- Care professionals will be able to find shared information when they need it, such as test results, helping to avoid unnecessary appointments and further tests
- Where several organisations work together to support your care, sharing information via the Surrey Care Record helps the various teams to co-ordinate your care, resulting in more time spent on better co-ordinated and safer care and less paperwork.
What to do if you don’t want your records shared
Care professionals will be trained to ask for your permission at the point of care before viewing your Surrey Care Record, giving you the opportunity to decide if you agree or not.
If you do agree, you don’t have to do anything and those caring for you will access your Surrey Care Record to support your direct care.
This is not a problem.
Yes. If you want to opt-out of the Surrey Care Record you can contact any participating organisation who will ensure that the sharing of your Surrey Care Record is disabled. This will however mean that other professionals involved in your care will not be able to access shared information about you through the Surrey Care Record.
If you have already opted out of the national Summary Care Record, you will automatically be opted out of the Surrey Care Record. It is important to understand that if you do this staff caring for you may not be able to access details from your GP and other care providers about care you have already received, your current medications, your allergies or any bad reactions to medicines you have had in order to treat you safely in an emergency. Your records will stay as they are now with information being shared by letter, email, fax or phone.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specific advice on options available to you.
These are some of the key data items from acute hospitals which may be available in the Surrey Care Record in due course:
- Key medical notes/record
The Surrey Care Record has been designed to ensure that providing information does not affect existing GP services at all.
Sending data to the Surrey Care Record is an automated process that happens overnight, when no treatment is being provided, and therefore does not change the care you would normally receive.
Having data on the Surrey Care Record may improve the care you receive by providing the professionals who are caring for you with access to additional accurate information about you quickly and easily.
Please contact the health or social care provider alleged to be responsible for improper use directly to register a complaint. In Phase One providers will be:
- GP practices from:
- North West Surrey CCG
- Guildford and Waverley CCG
- Surrey Downs CCG
- East Surrey CCG
- Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Eventually it is planned to include a wider selection of health and social care providers:
- Surrey County Council
- CSH Surrey
- South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
- Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- First Community Health and Care.
- Urgent Care and Walk-In Centres
- Locality Hubs