I don’t want just anyone looking at my personal information – who’ll get to see it?
Professionals working for local health and care organisations will be able to use the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record to see your records.
Currently, the organisations involved are:
- GP practices in Birmingham and Solihull
- Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (including Forward Thinking Birmingham)
- Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Birmingham City Council
- Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
- Birmingham Children’s Trust
- West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust
Some of their administrative and secretarial staff will also be able to see information so they can support the professionals. An example would be to send you an appointment letter.
Health and care organisations in the neighbouring areas of Coventry and Warwickshire, and Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be able to view your information for the purpose of giving you direct care should it be necessary.
Who runs the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record?
The NHS and local councils in Birmingham and Solihull own and are responsible for the Shared Care Record.
Why should I allow my records to be available to view through the Shared Care Record?
There are a number of reasons. For instance:
- you won’t have to repeat your details every time you need care
- clinicians will be able to see what medications you’re taking and if you have any allergies, making your treatment safer
- they’ll also be able to make better decisions about your care by knowing your recent history – things such as tests, scans, results and prescriptions
- you won’t have to explain your social care support to health professionals
- you’ll get more efficient treatment because clinicians won’t have to wait for other organisations to forward your information by letter or phone.
Is everybody in the country doing this?
The Shared Care Record is local. But similar approaches to enabling health and care organisations to see information needed for people’s care are also happening in other parts of the country.
Surely all the places I’ve had care already have my information?
They’ll all have their own separate records about the treatment or care you’ve had from them. So, for instance, your GP will have information, while any hospital where you’ve had treatment will have its own. It’s the same across all the services that have cared for you.
Now though, as most of these records are electronic, we can start to bring them together. By letting the people involved in your care see the bigger picture, you’ll get better care.
I live in Birmingham/Solihull, but my GP is just outside. Will I still be included?
If you’re registered with a GP practice in Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, or Herefordshire and Worcestershire then you will be included.
Anyone registered outside this area will need to contact their GP to see if they’re included in a different programme.
How do I know my information will be safe?
We won’t sell your information or give it to anyone who shouldn’t have it.
The NHS and local councils are bound by data protection laws to make sure they keep safe all information they hold on you. They take this duty very seriously – and not just at the highest level of their organisation.
They train all their staff to understand their personal responsibilities under the law when it comes to your records. Staff must also follow the NHS and local council codes of conduct on respecting your privacy and keeping your information safe.
You can find out more about how the NHS looks after your health records on the NHS Choices website. You can do the same for social care records by visiting the Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council websites.
I’d like to know what information is held on me – how can I find out?
Data protection laws give you the right to see any information that organisations like the NHS and local councils hold on you.
Whether paper, electronic or a combination of the two, you just need to ask the organisation involved. You can find out how by looking at the Fair Processing Notice or Privacy Notice on their website.
What happens to anything in my records that might be sensitive?
There are some pieces of information that won’t be available to view through the Shared Care Record. Things, for instance, such as visits to sexual health clinics, any fertility treatment records, and those about gender reassignment.
We’ll have a data sharing agreement to make sure this kind of information is not included, in line with legal and statutory requirements, and concerns around sensitivity.
Can I stop my information being available through the Shared Care Record?
Yes – you have a right to object to the Shared Care Record. However, we don’t recommend this.
If you do object, each organisation will only see electronic information recorded on its own system. Anything needed from other services as part of your direct care or treatment will be forwarded through traditional methods such as phone, email or letter – as it is now.
Please consider carefully before objecting as it could mean vital information about you is not immediately available when you need health or social care support.
How do I object?
If you want to object, you can do so by emailing the Shared Care Record central team.
Why does my local council need to see my health records?
Social care is provided by local councils, with hospitals and community care services referring many patients to social care. Allowing all these services to see people’s information will help them work together better to give people the best care.
Social care professionals will be restricted to appropriate information in the records of those people in their direct care, for example, details of key professionals involved in that care.
Who does this affect?
Anyone aged 18 or over and registered with a GP practice in Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, or Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be included.