Patient Privacy Notice
How data is supporting the COVID-19 response
To help the NHS to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHSX and NHS Digital are improving the access that doctors, nurses and authorised health and care professionals have to medical records and information. This will help them to more safely treat and advise patients who are not attending their usual GP practice, who have called NHS 111, or who are receiving care in another setting.
Summary Care Records (SCR)
All patients currently have a Core SCR containing a limited amount of information extracted from GP records on allergies and medications unless they have chosen not to have one. The SCR is viewable by authorised healthcare professionals working in other settings.
Some patients have chosen to share an extended set of information as part of the SCR Additional Information (SCR-AI) which includes information about:
- details of the management of long-term conditions
- reason for medication
- care plan information
- significant medical history, past and present.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS digital are temporarily removing the requirement to have explicit consent to share the SCR-AI, and this Additional Information will now automatically be included in all patient SCRs unless a patient has expressed a preference not to include it.
SCR patient consent preference form to OPT OUT only
GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and your information
The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges the NHS and other health professionals are facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ICO also recognise that 'Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.'
The Government have also taken action in respect of this and on 20th March 2020 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a Notice under Regulation 3(4) of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 requiring organisations such as GP Practices to use your information to help GP Practices and other healthcare organisations to respond to and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to look after your healthcare needs during this difficult time, we may urgently need to share your personal information, including medical records, with clinical and non clinical staff who belong to organisations that are permitted to use your information and need to use it to help deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. This could (amongst other measures) consist of either treating you or a member of your family and enable us and other healthcare organisations to monitor the disease, assess risk and manage the spread of the disease.
Please be assured that we will only share information and health data that is necessary to meet yours and public healthcare needs.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also stated that these measures are temporary and will expire on 30th September 2020 unless a further extension is required. Any further extension will be will be provided in writing and we will communicate the same to you.
Please also note that the data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop us from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.
It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows us to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.
If you are concerned about how your information is being used, please contact our DPO using the contact details provided in this Privacy Notice.