Sharing vital health information with health and social care organisations is now as easy as having a simple conversation.
The majority of patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will already have a Summary Care Record. This contains basic information, such as recent medication, allergies, and sensitivities.
Although this information is extremely helpful, if a patient needed emergency treatment, or care outside of normal GP hours, access to an enhanced version of the Summary Care Record could assist health and social care professionals even further to treat patients more appropriately and quickly
The Enhanced Summary Care Record contains additional information, such as:
- Long-term health conditions that need to be managed in a specialist way, e.g. asthma, diabetes or rare medical conditions
- Personal preferences, e.g. communication needs or disability
- Legal decisions about a person’s healthcare in an emergency, or throughout end of life care
- Immunisation history
Many patients assume that their medical record is already available to all health and social care professionals, but in reality, GP practices will only share an Enhanced Summary Care Record if a patient provides consent. Therefore, the three clinical commissioning groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are encouraging patients to tell their GP practice that they are happy for this additional information to be included in their Summary Care Record.
Essential details about healthcare can be difficult to remember, particularly when a patient is unwell. Having an Enhanced Summary Care Record will provide peace of mind for patients, family members and carers, as well as a better overall patient experience. This is because health and social care professionals will have all the vital information they need to provide quicker and better treatment.
Dr Tony Bentley, GP Lead for IT, speaking on behalf of the three clinical commissioning groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said “By working with practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, we learned that most patients assume if they go into hospital or if they have care in the community, the health and social professionals can see their full medical record. This is not the case. As GPs, we need consent from the patient to share their full record with our partners. Without this consent they can only see the basic record, and in an emergency, they could be missing vital information about the patient’s long-term health conditions, personal wishes and more.
“I would urge patients to talk to their GP practice about consenting to share this information. Patient’s medical records are stored safely. Records are never moved or taken outside of the GP practice and if consent is given, the information is viewed on a secure computer system, which can only be accessed by appropriate local health and social care staff. The information will only be used in times of need, to ensure the care being provided to you is appropriate.”
Patients and carers should contact/visit their GP practice to give verbal or written consent. At the same time, patients have the opportunity to add any extra health information, that they feel would be useful for health and social care professionals to know in an emergency, to their record.
For more information about the Summary Care Record or the Enhanced Summary Care Record, ask at your GP Practice or visit http://digital.nhs.uk/summary-care-records.