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Home » Health Professionals » News and resources » Shared Care Record » FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Shared Care Record

Background

The Shared Care Record is system that will improve care by joining up information which may currently be held separately by health and care services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The Shared Care Record will enable clinicians to share and access up-to-date information about the individuals they are caring for.

The Shared Care Record will provide:

  • Better co-ordinated and seamless care
  • Quicker diagnosis and treatment
  • More time to spend on clinical care
  • Less paperwork and less repetition
  • Fewer unnecessary clinical tests
  • More accurate prescriptions
  • Better health and care planning.

The Shared Care Record will make sharing information across our partners easier. This will help to improve the care patients receive as well as reduce time spent on administration to co-ordinate care. 

A letter from NHS England in July 2020 set out the requirement to create a Shared Care Record by September 2021: “…local systems are required to produce a plan…for developing and implementing a full shared care record, allowing the safe flow of patient data between care settings, and the aggregation of data for population health.” 

The Shared Care Record will join up health and care information and enable health and care professionals to access the information they need to look after patients, even if they work for different organisations or in different locations. For example, a hospital doctor, community nurse, or social worker involved in a specific patients’ care could view the information they need from that patients’ GP record. 

The Shared Care Record is underpinned by an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) between all the health and care organisations involved. This means they commit to sharing information in a secure way that is compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), to help improve patient care 

Health and care professionals will be able to access patient records from other services when it is needed for patient care. This may include individuals working within hospitals, GP practices, treatment centres, care homes, social care, and community teams. This will make it easier and faster for them to make the best decisions. For example, to check details of appointments and co-ordinate patient care. 

Access to records will be restricted to those health and care professionals who have a legitimate reason to be able to view specific patient records, where this will be enforced through a combination of formal policies and technical controls. 

The health and care partners involved in Shared Care Record for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are listed below: 

  • 85 General Practices across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group 
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust 
  • Cambridgeshire County Council 
  • East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust 
  • North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Peterborough City Council 
  • Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

 

The project is being delivered by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS) Digital and Innovation Programme, which is governed by a Digital Enabling Group (DEG). The DEG is a strategic decision-making body, made up of senior representation from all organisations of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS. 

Project implementation planning is underway. As we share partner data, health and care professional users of the Shared Care Record will be made clear what data from which partner is being made available at any point in time. All users will be trained to use the system. 

The Shared Care Record includes information from health and care records. This may include but is not exclusive to:

  • Name, address, NHS number and phone number
  • Medical conditions
  • Treatment provided and contact the individual has had with the organisation
  • Care plans
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Discharge summaries
  • Medication reviews
  • Medical reports
  • Care and support plans
  • Care plans reviews - adult social care assessments
  • Results of investigations, such as x-rays, scans, and laboratory tests.

The information that can be accessed from each service or organisation will depend on the system that is used. Each partner organisation involved is responsible for the information that they share and/or access. The full set of data we aim to share are derived from the PRSB Core Information Standards as set out by NHS England. 

Governance and Compliance

The Shared Care Record is developed to comply with GDPR and the NHS information governance framework. To comply, we have developed an Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) with all partners across this project. All partners will need to sign up to this for the project to proceed. We have also completed a data protection impact assessment, which has been agreed by our partners. 

The NHS Digital GP data project is completely separate to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Shared Care Record. The core purpose of the Shared Cared Record is to share patient records to improve the direct care patients receive within a confined geography of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

To find out more about NHS Digital’s GP data project, visit its website. 

The Shared Care Record will only be used by health and care professionals involved in delivering direct care. It will not affect patient benefits. Third parties, companies or individuals not directly involved in care will not be able to view or access patient records. 
Yes, the intention is that the Shared Care Record will link with the national opt-out and if patients opt-out via this way, once their record is updated with the national health system, then their record will not display data they have expressly indicated not to be shared. However, if a patient does choose to opt-out, it is recommended that you explain that by not sharing certain data, this might impact the quality of care they receive. 
The ISA is not a ‘mandatory’ requirement as all partners are involved in the provision of direct care, therefore, under GDPR, data sharing across our partners is already permissible. However, we would encourage all partners to sign up to the ISA, as we would like to provide as much transparency and reassurance to our patients to make them aware that we are data sharing - specifically across this set of partners. We aim for the ISA to go some way to provide this reassurance, as we roll out our public awareness campaign to inform the public and provide them with the process to ‘Object to Share’ should they wish to opt-out any of their data (making it clear, that if they do, this might impact their quality and provision of health and care). 

Patient Information

The Shared Care Record enables health and care professionals to access information about patients. More information about patients accessing their own records can be found on the NHS website. A future development phase of this project will be to enable patients to access a view of their Shared Care Record, through a patient portal. 

Patients can object to their records or part of their records being shared between services. To do this, they can speak to the person delivering care such as their GP or social worker. However: 

  • It is important for patients to understand that not allowing access to their information may affect the quality of the care they receive. 
  • Only health and social care professionals involved in patient care are allowed to access this information. These people view patient records to provide the best quality care they can. 
  • In many situations it is necessary to share information between services to deliver care. However, it may be possible to request that specific or sensitive information is not made available. 

 

There may be circumstances where an objection by a patient may not be upheld. For example: 

  • If it is in the public interest for information to still be shared. For example, if there is a safeguarding issue, or in the case of an individual who might be at risk from harming themselves or a member of the public. 
  • If clinical care cannot be provided, for example, GPs providing additional routine appointments at the weekend need access to your GP record to provide patients with safe effective care. In this instance, patients may choose not to have the appointment. 

 

Some computer systems may not be developed enough prevent the sharing of information. However, this information will remain confidential amongst the team of people that are directly caring. 

The Shared Care Record approach is in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which provides the legal basis to share information between health and care services when it is needed to deliver care. All information will be held securely. 

Information can only be accessed over a secure health and care network. An audit trail is maintained to record access to records. All partners involved are compliant with the Data Security and Protection (DSP) toolkit. 

By law, everyone working in health and social care or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect privacy and keep all information safe. Everyone within the health and care sectors must also complete annual mandatory information governance training. 

We will run a 12-week public communications campaign prior to go live of phase 1, to start informing patients of this project and that their data will be shared across the partners. The public campaign will follow the My Care Record approach, which has been used across the East of England, and you can find out more about My Care Record by visiting https://www.mycarerecord.org.uk/.

Individuals will be able to ‘Object to Share’ (opt-out) parts of their data with other specified partners. See question ‘Can patients object to information being accessed through the Shared Care Record’. 

Patients can talk to their GP or any health and care professional if they have any concerns about improper use of Shared Care Record. An audit trail can be produced to investigate this, and inappropriate access by staff members is taken very seriously and formal investigations would be carried out. Please involve the relevant organisations Data Protection Officer (DPO) in any such investigations.

All partner organisations have complaints procedures. If patients wish to make a complaint, they can contact their direct care provider or speak to their PALS (Patient Advisor and Liaison Service) / complaints department. Patients also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding breaches of confidentiality.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy, data sharing issues and your rights you can contact:

  • Information Commissioner’s Office; Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
  • Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745
  • Email: casework@ico.org.uk
  • Visit the ICO website. https://ico.org.uk/

 

Further Questions

Access to view patient data will be based on your role – the system will adopt the current role-based access permissions you currently have for accessing your health and care systems. We are working in conjunction with information governance colleagues and your current digital colleagues to ensure that you have the appropriate access. 

In terms of when data from other partners is being made available, this will be dependent on each partner’s readiness to share those datasets, therefore we envisage that datasets will be rolled out in a gradual way over a period of 12 months. We will be communicating clearly when you access the patient record, which datasets, and from which partners, is being made available. 

Health and care professionals will be able to search for patients using their NHS numbers. The NHS number is primary connection that is being used between the systems to create the Shared Care Record. 
The PRSB dataset ‘Legal Information’ does allow recording of Lasting Power of Attorney, as well as other datasets e.g. Consent for information sharing, mental capacity assessment. However, these are likely to be made available over time as the Shared Care Record is developed. 
The functionality NHS App is owned, managed, and developed by NHS Digital. However, it is envisaged that over time patients will be able to view more of their record, as well as perform other tasks such as booking GP appointments, via the NHS App. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Shared Care Record project is separate to the NHS App. 
01/10/2021