'Better Information means better care'
Using information about the care you have received enables those involved in providing care and health services to improve the quality of care and health services for all. The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care.
NHS England has therefore commissioned a programme of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address gaps in information with the aim of ensuring that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.
The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including GP practices. Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.
Every household in England will shortly receive a leaflet entitled Better information means better care (PDF, 2MB) describing how information in medical records is used for purposes beyond the direct care of the patient, research and risk stratification.
It is important that you read the leaflet so that you understand how information in medical records can be used to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.
If you are happy for your information to be used then you do not need to do anything.
If you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, just speak to your GP practice and ask them to record your wishes in your medical record. This will not affect the care you receive.
Information from GP practices will begin to be extracted and sent to the HSCIC in the spring 2014. The GP data will be linked with the hospital data already held by the HSCIC.
Dedicated patient information line - 0300 456 3531.
Translation and text phone services are also available.