When you use health and social care services, the people looking after you will need to collect information about you and your care for different reasons.
Your information is often moved around electronically to ensure your health and care professionals can get to it when they need it. Health and Social Care Information Centre control many of the systems that allow this to happen.
Important information is also sent securely to the Health and Social Care Information Centre from wherever you receive care. This allows activities such as healthcare planning, medical research and clinical Audit to be carried out. This is different to using information to support your care directly.
The data that is collected from GP practices will be linked to data that is already held from hospitals to give a more rounded picture of care and treatment. Find out what we will collect from GP records and how the information will be used and shared.
Protecting your personal confidential information is central to all that Health and Social Care Information Centre do, they treat it with the greatest care and respect. It can only be seen by those who have a legal basis to see it and they must follow strict rules. It has to be kept safe and secure at all times.
Some of the information that is collected is turned into charts and tables to help people who want to improve the NHS and social care (find out more in why information is needed). When this is done any personal information that could identify you is taken out. You may see some of these statistics reported in the news and discussed in Parliament. Health and Social Care Information Centre also provide facts and figures to patients when they are making choices about their healthcare.
The Health and Social Information Centre have produced a guide to confidentiality in health and social care [1Mb] (Opens in a new window) that explains what you can expect and the responsibility of health and social care organisations to keep your information secure. The guide is supported by references [698kb] (Opens in a new window) that provide more detailed information for those who handle confidential health and social care information.
They have also completed a 'Privacy Impact Assessment' [527kb] (Opens in a new window) which tells you what the HSCIC does with personal information and what effect that might have on privacy. It also explains what steps the HSCIC takes to protect privacy. The Privacy Impact Assessment will be looked at every year to see if it needs to be updated.
You can opt out of this Care Data, we have provided a form in the online form section of our website which you can complete and email to the surgery which will then be coded onto your records to prevent any data being uploaded from your records. You can change your mind at a later date by just informing the surgery of your decision.
Please note this is different to the Summary Care Record (SCR) which is where an electronic patient record is held nationally and can be looked at anywhere in the NHS England. It contains medical information including the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from or any adverse reactions to medicines in the past. Having this information stored on the central spine makes it easier for healthcare professionals to treat you in an emergency or when your GP surgery is closed.