We ask for information about you only so you can receive the best possible care and treatment - please read the NHS website information about your NHS Health record if you have any questions about this.
Patient records are kept electronically on our practice systems, primarily on our EmisWeb clinical system. As the data controller of patients' personal confidential data, GP practices have a duty to protect the data they hold. Read more about how we handle your information, including using data for audit and research.
Everyone working in the NHS has a legal duty to maintain the highest level of confidentiality about patient information. We only pass information concerning you to people who have a genuine need for it. Whenever we can we shall remove details that identify you as an individual. Please see our Confidentality page for more information.
Increasingly, patient medical data is shared between health organisations, in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when patients present.
The systems we operate require that any sharing of medical information is consented to by patients beforehand. Patients must consent to sharing of the data held by a health provider out to other health providers and must also consent to which of the other providers can access their data.
Your GP medical records may be made available to other organisations - see below for details including methods for opting-out if you do not want to share your personal data in these ways.
National Data Flows
The Personal Demographics Service (PDS) - a national electronic database of NHS patient demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and NHS Number. The PDS enables a patient to be readily identified by the NHS quickly and accurately; it does not hold any clinical or sensitive data however all data-sharing is based on the PDS aka 'the Spine'.
You cannot opt-out of your information being held on the PDS database however in special circumstances there is a process for flagging a record as ‘sensitive’ which means that healthcare professionals will only be able to see NHS Number, name, date of birth and gender - no other demographic details will be displayed. If you require your record flagging, or for this flag to be removed, contact us and we will liaise with NHS Digital to action this as appropriate. This can be useful, e.g. for victims of domestic violence or people in a witness protection program, however flagging your record is not an action to be undertaken lightly - your demographic information will still be held nationally and having your details unavailable locally will mean you cannot be referred to hospital consultants or other NHS services via the e-Referral service, or have your prescriptions electronically transferred to a pharmacy via the EPS service.
National Data opt-out
The NHS wants to make sure you and your family have the best care now and in the future. Your health and adult social care information supports your individual care but can also be used to help the NHS to research, plan and improve health and care services in England.
If you do not want to share your confidential patient information with other organisations, you can register a National Data Opt out by visiting nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters or call 0300 330 9412 to make or update your choice.
There are some circumstances where opt-outs will not apply - see the National Data Opt-out Service Privacy Notice for more information. In particular, please note there are separate opt-outs for the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS)
This England-wide data opt-out service is run by NHS Digital and replaces the failed care.data project. If you previously opted out under care.data you should have received a letter from NHS Digital by August 2018 explaining that your opt-out will be transferred to the new programme - see the Understanding Patient Data website for more information. It is also worth reading this comparison of the two projects
Type 1 Opt-out (GPDPR)
NHS Digital is introducing the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service service which will extract GP data, pseudonymised to protect your identity, and make it readily available for planners and researchers.
Update 19/7/21: There is no longer a set date for this data extraction to begin. NHS Digital have confirmed this will not happen until patients have been made more aware of this scheme, any backlog of opt-out requests has been cleared and an ability to delete uploaded data after subsequent opt-out has been provided. Access to GP data will only be via a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) and never copied or shipped outside the NHS secure environment, except where individuals have consented to their data being accessed e.g. written consent for a research study.
If you do not want your patient data shared with NHS Digital, you can complete a Type 1 opt-out form and return to us in hard copy or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will code this preference in your GP record which should stop your data being extracted. NHS Digital are working on a process to simplify and centralise this process in order to reduce the burden on GP practices - the information here will be updated when this is available.
If you don’t want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care, you can opt-out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out (to stop collection) or a National Data Opt-out (to stop sharing) or both.
You can complete opt-outs on behalf of children aged under 13. Between the ages of 11 and 15 children start to become custodians of their own data - please discuss with them for them to sign their agreement as well as yours. From age 16 everyone should be completing their own form unless there are capacity issues.
Summary Care Record
The Summary Care Record (SCR) is an England-wide system that takes information from patient's GP record and makes it available to clinicians anywhere in the country.
The core SCR record is limited to Medication and Allergies however patients who are frail or have complex health needs may wish to provide consent for additional SCR data release, which adds additional information and supporting free text onto their core Summary Care Record, including significant medical history, reason for medication and end of life care information. More information is available in the SCR leaflet (2 page pdf). Please discuss with your GP if you would like consent for additional SCR data release recorded on your record.
If you have registered for Online Services with a minimum of Core record access, you will be able to check what is accessible on your core SCR record.
An information letter and opt-out form for SCR was posted to patients in August 2013. If you have not previously received the opt-out form, this can be obtained from the NHS website Health Records webpage. If you do not want your data available within the SCR, you will need to complete the opt-out form and return it to the Practice to action. You can complete this form on behalf of another patient. Forms completed on behalf of children under the age of 16 will be reviewed by the GP who may wish to discuss the decision further with you and who ultimately may over-ride a parent/carer’s wishes if the decision is deemed to be not in the child's best interests.
Connecting Care is a local system that makes the summary information from a patient’s record available to hospitals and Out of Hours services in the BNSSG area (Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire).
Information about this system was included on the reverse of the August 2013 SCR letter. You can obtain more information by visiting the Connecting Care website which includes a link to the opt-out form you will need to complete if you do not want your data available within the Connecting Care record. This form must be returned to Connecting Care to action, NOT to us. You can complete this form on behalf of another patient.
Other National data sharing initiatives
National Diabetes Audit
This is an annual extraction of data using your NHS number and date of birth to link information from your GP record and hospital records to assess diabetes care.
If you do not want information taken from your GP records for this audit, please let us know - we will need to add a code to your record to ensure your data is not extracted.
Diabetic Eye Screening service
We share information with the Diabetic Eye Screening service - see Public Health England (PHE) Screening for more information.
This is so that everyone eligible can be invited for screening by the Bristol & Weston Diabetic Eye Screening Programme in a timely fashion.
If you are diabetic and do not want your information shared with the Screening service, please let us know - we will need to add a code to your record to ensure your data is not extracted, however we would strongly advise attending screening appointments in order to reduce the risk of sight loss.
National Disease Registration Service (NDRS)
EMIS data-sharing agreements
The IT system we use for your medical records is EMISWeb. This is a hosted system, which means your data is held on the EMIS servers in Leeds and is accessed by us via N3, a secure broadband network which is only accessible to the NHS. If signed EMIS data-sharing agreements are in place, other NHS organisations can also view this patient data over their N3 connection and/or the practice can view your data held on another organisation's EMISWeb system.
You can now see which organisations have viewed your shared record in the last 12 months via Online Services - a link in the brown menu bar at the bottom once you have logged in, takes you to "GP Shared Record History" (note this is only available to patients who have access to either their medical record or repeat prescribing).
Before anyone can view your EMIS shared record they must have a legitimate relationship with you. Access to shared records is recorded and your consent should be obtained by the person accessing your medical record.
If you do not want your EMIS data to be shared in this way, let the practice or any other organisation using EMIS know – a flag can be set in any of your EMIS records which will stop all sharing from taking place.
The practice is also signed up to share data with local NHS commissioning organisations via EMIS Search & Report. This involves sharing the results of specific searches set up to identify the numbers of patients meeting the search criteria - patient-identifiable data is not shared.
We currently have agreements to share patient data with:
Sirona is the organisation that now employs Community Nurses amongst other staff.
On 2nd July 2015, the community nurses (then part of Bristol Community Health) moved to using EMISWeb, having migrated from another computer system called RIO. District Nurses working with patients from this practice previously accessed patient records on our EMIS system.
A data-sharing agreement is in place so that we can see data recorded for our patients on each other's EMIS system.
One Care is a GP-led organisation that represents practices in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Data-sharing with the One Care consortium has been in place since 2015. This allows your medical record to be available to staff from One Care who are treating you and to book patients into Improved Access appointments at another GP practice.
BrisDoc is a GP co-operative that includes the Severnside Integrated Urgent Care service for GP out of hours care. Data sharing with GP practices was in place using One Care EMIS however since 1/4/20 BrisDoc has had its own EMIS system. In November 2021 our Data Sharing Agreement with them was updated to include the ability for GP practices to view BrisDoc records and future plans for cross-organisational appointment booking by both parties.