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Patient Fair Processing Notice & Frequently Asked Questions

Sharing of patient information held by GP Practices with Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for direct healthcare purposes only

Who is this notice aimed at?

All patients of participating GP Practices based within the NHS Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area and particularly those patients that are elderly or otherwise at risk from unplanned Admission to hospital.


This page explains arrangements in place within the Guildford and Waverley area that will enable your GP Practice to share certain parts of your health care record with the main provider of Acute Services in your local area, the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RSCH).

What will my information be used for and why?

This sharing of information aims to improve the care you receive upon unplanned Admission to hospital, by assisting the clinicians who will be delivering your care with quick and secure access to relevant information from your medical records which are held by your GP.

Is this not happening already?

No. Due to patient confidentiality, RSCH clinical staff do not have direct access to the detailed health care information held by your GP. In most cases RSCH staff will only have access to summary information held within the Summary Care Record (SCR), unless you have previously informed your GP practice that you do not want this to happen.

When your GP is referring you for treatment to the hospital, you provide consent for your GP to share any relevant referral information with the hospital, to assist in providing your care. In cases of unplanned Admission to hospital, information about you held by your GP may not be readily available to hospital staff in treating you. These new share arrangements will assist hospital staff treating you to access relevant information from your GP medical records and help avoid delays in treating you.

Which hospital staff will be able to access my information?

A limited number of RSCH clinical staff working in Accident and Emergency (A&E), Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU), and Care of the Elderly Wards will be able to access your information, only once you have been admitted and if they require further information held by your GP to assist in providing your care.

What information will hospital staff be able to access?

RSCH clinical staff will only access information that is relevant to the treatment or care they are providing you. Under these new data sharing arrangements only specific parts of the GP medical records will be made available to view only.

The specific categories of information that will be made available under these new arrangements will include:

  • Summary health information (including allergies, any recent alerts and your health status);
  • Records taken by your GP during consultations;
  • Your medical history, details of any medical problems you suffer from, and the outcomes of any Investigations undertaken previously;
  • Details of the medication you take and any immunisations you have had;
  • Records of any referrals to other health care providers;
  • Any Care Plans currently in place for you.

How is this different to the Summary Care Record?

Only limited information relating your health is made available to hospital staff as part of the Summary Care Record. The new data sharing arrangements in Guildford and Waverley will enable the clinicians who will be providing your care within the hospital to quickly and securely access additional relevant information from your medical records which is held by your GP and which is not contained within the Summary Care Record.

Will I know when my data is accessed?

Yes, in most cases RSCH staff treating you will ask you to provide consent to access your records when you attend the hospital. However, if you are unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, a Clinician involved in providing your care can decide to access your records if they believe it is in your best interests to do so to provide your care and treatment.

When will the information share commence?

Under these new arrangements your GP Practice will begin sharing this data with RSCH from the 1st October, 2015.

Do I Have A Say In How My Information Can Be Used?

If I am happy for my information to be shared - do I need to do inform anyone?

No. If you are happy for your information held by your GP practice to be and you have not previously informed your GP Practice that you do not want them to share any information relating to you, then you do not need to do anything.

Can I object to my GP medical information being shared?

Yes. If you do not want your GP practice to make your information available to share under these new arrangements, then you will need to opt-out of this information sharing agreement. This will prevent any information about you held on your GP medical notes from being shared. Your eligibility to receive care and services will not be affected in any way should you choose to opt-out of the information sharing.

How long have I got to decide if I want to opt-out?

You can decide to opt-out at any time by notifying your GP practice as soon as possible.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, by contacting your GP Practice. You can change your mind at any time and as many times as you wish either to opt-out or opt-in. At any time you change your mind you must inform your GP practice, to ensure your information and wishes are respected and kept up-to-date.

Who do I need to contact to opt-out?

Please contact your local GP practice to make them aware that you wish to opt-out of having your information available to RSCH under these arrangements.

If I have previously contacted my GP practice to opt-out of the Summary Care Record and/or other data sharing - do I still need to inform them if I do not want my information shared?

No, information relating to patients that have previously informed their GP practice that they do not want their information to be shared, will not be available to RSCH under these new arrangements.

I am a Carer for someone who lacks capacity to decide whether to allow their information to be shared. Can I decide on their behalf?

Yes, if you are the primary Carer or closest relative of someone who lacks capacity to decide whether their information can be shared, please contact your GP on behalf of the cared for person to inform them of their wishes.

Click here to download this information and the opt-out form. Please return the completed form to reception either in person or via post.

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