The NHS Care Records System and the 'Big Opt Out'
The Department of Health is transfering the medical records of everyone to a centrally–held, government–controlled database called the NHS Care Records System or NHS "spine". This will make a patients' entire medical records potentially viewable to anyone working within the NHS. Your GP records would then no longer be held at the surgery and the Department of Health would become the data–controller for your medical records, replacing your GP.
Your data will be available, without your consent and in an identifiable way, to thousands of non–clinical health administrators.
The Department of Health wants patients' medical records to be uploaded by default, unless the patient actively objects – an "opt out" mechanism: that is, if you do and say nothing, your notes will be uploaded.
We would encourage you to think carefully about whether you want your information to be uploaded. For more information please visit the following website: The Big Opt Out – http://www.nhsconfidentiality.org
You DO NOT need to make an appointment with a GP to opt out. Just fill in a form and hand it in or post it to us. We will respect your wishes and will add the appropriate upload–blocking codes to your notes, as well as adding the letter into your records. Your medical records will then remain under GP– control and not be uploaded whatsoever.
Opting out of the NHS Care Records System will not affect the medical care and treatment that you receive from Chichele Road Surgery. It will not affect the ability for your GP to refer you to a specialist for further care, should this be necessary, nor does it mean that you will be unable to receive NHS care.
If you decide to opt out now you can opt in to the NHS Care Records Service at any time in the future if you become satisfied with the security arrangements at a later stage.