Mytton Oak Medical practice has introduced Summary Care Records for its patients.
In March 2010 the Primary Care Trusts wrote to patients registered with GP practices in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin to inform them that the NHS in England is introducing a new electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR), which will be used to support your emergency care. The Summary Care Record is an electronic record which will give healthcare staff faster, easier access to essential information about your health, to help provide you with safe treatment when you need care in an emergency or when your GP practice is closed.
Later on as the central NHS computer system develops, (known as the ‘Summary Care Record’ – SCR), other staff who work in the NHS will be able to access it along with information from hospitals, out of hours services, and specialists letters that may be added as well.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held on central NHS databases.
As with all new systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. Connecting for Health (CfH), the government agency responsible for the Summary Care Record have agreed with doctors’ leaders that new patients registering with this practice should be able to decide whether or not their information is uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System.
For existing patients it is different in that it is assumed that you want your record uploaded to the Central NHS Computer System unless you actively opt out.
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record it will contain important information about any medicines you have been or are currently taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you had. Your permission will always be asked if anyone needs to look at information in your SCR, unless in an emergency when you are unable to give permission.
If you choose to have a Summary Care Record you do not need to do anything and one will be created for you.
If you do not want a Summary Care Record you can download an opt out form (see below) or collect one from the practice. Once completed, return it to the practice and your wishes will be recorded. Your existing health record will continue to be used as it is now. You can change your mind at any time.
For more information: Download a leaflet (SCR leaflet) or you can phone the Summary Care Record Information Line on 0300 123 3020.
There is further information online at Connecting for Health Website and at http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/
If you choose to opt out of the scheme, then you will need to complete a form and bring it along to the surgery.