Patient Record

Sharing Your Medical Record

In order to give patients the most appropriate care, it is helpful and often essential for clinical information to be shared with other members of the medical team.

However, patients should always be told:  WHY – WHEN – AND WITH WHOM,  their information will be shared, and if a patient objects to this, their views are usually respected, even though this might not be in the patient’s best interest.

To clarify, the sharing of patient medical data between GP surgeries and District Nurses, is a frequent occurrence and greatly assists clinicians when recommending appropriate and well-informed care.

However, the medical data systems we operate, requires any sharing of medical information, to be approved by patients beforehand and this includes which other care providers may access that data.

Patients may be assured that data will only be shared with other care providers with the patient’s consent and only then, if sharing the data was necessary to help with any treatment which might be needed.

In simple terms, it means that access to a patient’s data is under the patient’s control at all times and can only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.

sharing patient information

Emergency Care Summary

There exists a Central NHS Computer System called the Emergency Care Summary (ECS).

The Emergency Care Summary is there to assist emergency doctors and nurses to help you when the surgery is closed. It contains information about your medications and any allergies you may have.

Your information will be obtained from practices such as ours and held securely on central NHS databases.   

As with all 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 should help to avoid mistakes or problems. Nevertheless, 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.

However, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information confined to this practice.

If you don’t want an Emergency Care Summary to be prepared for you, tell your GP surgery. but don’t forget that if you do have an Emergency Care Summary, you will be asked if staff can look at it every time they need to and again we stress, you don’t have to agree to this.


EMERGENCY CARE SUMMARY Helping those who are helping us