Frequently asked questions
We are working across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Islington and Haringey to create an electronic joined-up health and care record. You will find the answers to residents' most frequently asked questions below.
You can also download a copy of our leaflet, which will also available from your GP practice, when they join the programme.
If you have a question which has not been answered here, you can contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our enquiry line on: 020 3688 1900
Please do not use this email address for opting out. You should do this using the form on our website.
Health and care professionals are able to make quicker and safer decisions about your care, and the care of other residents, as they can access your joined-up health and social care records.
As a user of local health and care services there are lots of advantages to having a joined-up record:
- Everyone involved in your care has the whole picture
- When you visit somewhere different for care, or meet a new care professional, they have access to important health and care information
- The results of common tests (for example blood tests) are available to everyone involved in your care, regardless of where the test took place, reducing the need to repeat them
- Professionals responsible for your care are able to look at your health and care records to plan and manage your care better
- Professionals from different organisations are able to look at anonymised health and care records and ensure that you, and others like you, are getting the best care from the whole team.
The joined-up health and care records mean that health and social care professionals are able to provide better care. Benefits include:
- Access to complete, up-to-date record of an individual's health and social care information, helping health and care professionals and patients to make better informed decisions together
- Less time spent finding out relevant information from different health and social care organisations and IT systems, and recording duplicate information
- Information available to help plan and improve care for residents, meaning health and care professionals can work as a team to identify opportunities for improvement.
The joined-up health record uses real-time data wherever possible. This means that your information is still stored on your GP or hospital’s existing electronic patient record system and is just available to view through the joined-up record. However, where this is not possible, then a copy of your information is stored on the secure platform, which complies with the NHS standards for data storage. It is important to note that your GP, hospital or care provider will still own the data and be responsible for accuracy and data control.
Only the people directly involved in your care, at the time and place when you see them, or when they are preparing to see you or are following up results, clinical letters or follow up care can see your joined-up records.
This might be your GP or practice nurse, hospital doctors and nurses, social workers and administrators who might be arranging your appointments and care. A small number of people who work with these professionals may help to administrate the system itself.
Your Information is held in systems with very high security standards and controlled access, which meet the NHS standards for data storage. The system records details such as when personal information has been accessed, and by who, and this will be regularly checked.
GP systems are being connected with local Acute hospital, mental health, community and social care systems. For a full list of participating organisations, please see our Privacy Notice
If you are happy for your information to be joined up then you don't need to take any action.
Health and care organisations have a duty in law to share information for care, and your health and care information is already shared between organisations using emails, letters, faxes and over the telephone.
However, if you do not wish to be part of this, you can choose to opt-out. You can do this on our website.
Before opting out, please read the information on this website carefully and do so understanding what it means for you. If you choose to opt-out, you won't be able to take advantage of the benefits that the electronic joined-up records can bring you. The health and care professionals looking after you won’t have your full history and most recent information available to them ‘in real time’ when they assess you, and decisions about your care may take longer, even in emergency situations.
Please note that your health and care information will still be shared on paper, by fax, email and over the telephone.
After you have opted out, you will receive confirmation on receipt of your request. Please contact us if you would like to check this or do not receive this.
All care professionals with access to health and care information work under strict codes of conduct meaning they must respect privacy and keep all information safe. Failure to do so is a serious offence. Information about you is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018/General Data Protection Regulations 2016.
This requires that care professionals:
- Can only see information they require to carry out their role in the delivery and management of care
- Must keep your records secure
- Have a duty of confidence towards your information.
The programme to join up care records was developed in partnership with health and care organisations in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Islington and Haringey. It is coordinated by North London Partners in health and care.
If you want to find out what information a care organisation has about you, you can contact that organisation directly and request this from them. This is known as a Subject Access Request.
To do this, go to the website of the organisation in question (your hospital, GP, care organisation etc) and look for 'access to my record'. Information on each individual organisation's process will be published on the site.
Remember - joined up care records are health and care information from other organisations, displayed in one place, so that each organisation can work together to care for patients.
For more information about making a Subject Access Request visit this website https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/your-right-of-access/
The national Summary Care Record is not the same as this joined up care record, which will provide a more detailed view of your health and care records. If you have opted out of the SCR, this does not automatically opt you out of the joined up record across north central London.
You can read more on the summary care record at: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/summary-care-records-scr
What is the difference between the national opt-out scheme and opting out of joined-up health records?
The national data opt out and opt out from joined-up health and care records are two different processes, as it relates to two different uses of personal data.
The national data opt-out enables patients to opt out from the use of their health and care data for research or planning purposes. Patients can view or change their national data opt-out choice at any time by using the online service at www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.
Opting out of joined-up health and care records means that a resident’s information will not be available via the electronic records used by health and care teams when directly managing or providing care to an individual. This information will still be shared, as it is now, by phone, email and on paper, although this can take longer.
If you choose to opt out, you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits that electronic joined-up health and care records can bring you. The health and care professionals looking after you won’t have your medical history and most recent information available to them, and decisions about your care may take longer, even in emergency situations.