Urgent Action Required
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 legally requires GPs to release electronic medical records of all registered patients, in an identifiable form, to a new central records database called care.data. The records will contain all coded data about you, but no free text. It will include your NHS number, so you could be easily identified from it. After processing, we are told that the identifiable information will be removed, but we have to take Minister’s and Civil Servant’s word for this.
We regard this as a serious and unnecessary breach of patient confidentiality and we have no confidence in the security of this system. However as a GP practice we are legally obliged to provide this information in the next few weeks unless you object.
If you object to your personal, identifiable medical records leaving the practice, you must inform reception immediately.
Not to divulge to your relatives, friends or any other third party, either in writing or verbally, any information about you without your written permission. Any information means: the results of any investigations (eg blood test, x-rays, pregnancy tests); the nature and severity of any illness you may have or suspect you may have; any other personal information and any information we receive from a non-medical source (eg Social Services, insurance companies).
To allow you access to information we keep on you, provided that this information does not identify or provide information about third parties not directly involved in your care. The law allows us to withhold information about you on the very rare occasions that we might have concerns that such information might cause serious harm to your health.
When requested, provide complete information about your medical status to:
Social Services – with your written permission, except in situations where there is serious concern about a child in your care, where information may be passed on for Child Protection purposes. We would always tell you if we were doing this, however.
Other health providers legitimately involved in your care (according to Caldicott criteria*).
We will not divulge any information about you without your consent unless ordered to do so by the Courts, or for Child Protection purposes, or in an emergency to protect you, or other people, from death or serious harm.
Please do not allow your relatives and/or friends to approach us for information about you unless you have provided us with your written permission.
*Dr Stephen DeWilde is the Caldicott Guardian for the Practice.