Sharing your health record guide
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The information on this page will explain what a health record is and how it can be shared with other parts of the NHS, it also tells you how to give consent for this Trust to share your record, and who we can share it with.
Please read the information on this page carefully.
What is a health record?
All the information about the care and treatment we provide is held on a health record, your health record is stored electronically on a secure system and healthcare staff use this information to make sure you get the right care and support you need. Staff will make sure this information stays confidential and is kept safe.
We know that other health and care services such as hospitals, clinics, GPs and social care may also provide you with care and support. To help us work together, we want to share the information we have with them, so they can continue to support you with the best care and treatment.
- Everyone who provides your care will have the information they need, when they need it.
- You get the right treatment for your mental and physical health.
- It will reduce how often you need to repeat information for people.
- You get the best health and care services we can provide.
Health records will only be shared with services that provide you with health or social care treatment, and on a need to know basis.
You have the right to choose who will see your record.
Consent to share your records
You will be asked by the person providing you with care or treatment at the Trust if you are happy to share your health record with other health and care services that also provide you with care, this is known as consent.
There are two types of consent:
- You will be asked to give consent to sharing information with other health and care services, we call this ‘share out’.
- You will also be asked if we can see information about you that other health and care services who provide you with care have recorded, we call this ‘share in’.
Consent to ‘share out’
You can ask for some of the information you share to stay private, this means that only the service at the Trust which recorded the information can view this part of your health record.
- If you consent, other services caring for you will see your health record. For example, a district nurse that visits you would be able to see the information recorded by your GP.
- If you do not consent, only the person caring for you at the Trust will be able to see your record and your record will not be shared with other health and care staff that provide you with care and treatment outside of the Trust.
Consent to ‘share in’
You can give consent for other health and care services to share information with us that they have recorded about your care.
- If you consent, we will be able to view the information recorded on health records by other health and care services.
- If you do not consent, we will not be able to see this information.
How does consent work?
If you consent to share out and share in your health record, everyone who provides you with health and social care will be able to see the same record, however, you can choose who can see your full health records.
The example below should help to explain this more:
Patient A receives care from three different NHS services (a GP, a district nurse and a smoking clinic).
You can see from the image that the GP and nurse will share the same information, both can see Patient A’s records at the smoking clinic. But the smoking clinic will not be able to see Patient A’s shared record which has information from the care they receive from the GP and district nurse.
This is because:
- Patient A has consented to both share in and out their health records with their GP and district nurse, so the GP and district nurse can see Patient A’s full shared health record.
- Patient A has consented to the smoking clinic sharing out information about their care, this provides the GP and district nurse with information about Patient A’s care and treatment at the smoking clinic.
- Patient A has not consented to information being shared in with the smoking clinic, this may be because Patient A decided that their full GP and district nurse records are not relevant to a smoking clinic.
What if I change my mind about consent?
You can change your mind about consent at any time, all you need to do is contact your health worker at the Trust who will help you.
What else do I need to know?
If you haven’t been asked to share your health record at other NHS services, including your GP, you can always speak to a health or care worker about giving consent to share your records.
In a serious situation, for example if you are unconscious, a health and care service will be able to view your health record. They will do this even if you have not given consent.
If you are still not sure about sharing your health record, or if you have questions about this; speak to a member of staff for more information.
You can also look at our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page or ask us to send you a paper copy.