Application for Access to GP Online Services – Things To Consider
Before you apply for online access to your medical health record, there are some things to consider.
Although the chances of any of these things happening are very small, you will be asked that you have read and understood the following when you sign up for online services.
There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.
Abnormal results or bad news
If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting to you. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them.
Choosing to share your information with someone
It’s up to you whether you share your information with others or not – perhaps family members or carers. It’s your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure.
If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, it is best that you do not register for access at this time.
Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood. If you require further clarification, please contact the surgery for a clearer explanation.
Information about someone else
If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.
For more information about keeping your healthcare records safe and secure, you will find a helpful
leaflet produced by the NHS in conjunction with the British Computer Society:
Keeping your online health and social care records safe and secure
If you are using this service to access another person’s account as a proxy (eg as a carer or parent), you have discussed appropriately what you are accessing and for what purpose. This service will be reviewed at regular intervals by the GP practice and may be rescinded at any time.
*You will need to bring in Photo ID and proof of residence, so we can verify in person your identity. This is to protect your private medical records.*
Sharing Your Medical Record
Increasingly, patient medical data is shared e.g. between GP surgeries and District Nursing, in order to give clinicians access to the most up to date information when attending patients.
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.
e.g. it may be necessary to share data held in GP practices with district nurses but the local podiatry department would not need to see it to undertake their work. In this case, patients would allow the surgery to share their data, they would allow the district nurses to access it but they would not allow access by the podiatry department. In this way access to patient data is under patients' control and can be shared on a 'need to know' basis.
Emergency Care Summary
There is a Central NHS Computer System called the Emergency Care Summary (ECS). The Emergency Care Summary is meant to help emergency doctors and nurses help you when you contact them when the surgery is closed. It will contain information on your medications and allergies.
Your information will be extracted from practices such as ours and held securely on central NHS databases.
As with all systems there are pros and cons to think about. When you speak to an emergency doctor you might overlook something that is important and if they have access to your medical record it might avoid mistakes or problems, although even then, you should be asked to give your consent each time a member of NHS Staff wishes to access your record, unless you are medically unable to do so.
On the other hand, you may have strong views about sharing your personal information and wish to keep your information at the level of this practice. If you don’t want an Emergency Care Summary to be made for you, tell your GP surgery. Don’t forget that if you do have an Emergency Care Summary, you will be asked if staff can look at it every time they need to. You don’t have to agree to this.