How the NHS uses your information

NHS Summary Care Record (SCR)

Summary Care Records (SCR) are an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. It can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient's direct care. If you’re registered with a GP practice, you'll have a Summary Care Record unless you've chosen not to have one.

Your Summary Care Record is a short summary of your GP medical records. It tells other health and care staff who care for you about the medicines you take and your allergies.

This means they can give you better care if you need health care away from your usual doctor's surgery:

  • in an emergency

  • when you're on holiday

  • when your surgery is closed

  • at out-patient clinics

  • when you visit a pharmacy

Staff will ask your permission to look at your SCR (except in an emergency where you are unconscious, for example) and only staff with the right levels of security clearance can access the system, so your information is secure. You can ask an organisation to show you a record of who has looked at your SCR - this is called a Subject Access Request.

SCRs improve care, but if you don't want to have one you can opt out. Tell your GP or fill in an SCR opt-out form and give it to a member of the practice team.

NHS Digital - Type 1 and Type 2 Opt-outs

You can decide if health and care information that could identify you is used for research and planning.

You can choose whether your confidential patient information is used for research and planning. To find out more visit nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters.

You do not need to do anything if you are happy about how your confidential patient information is used. You can change your choice at any time.

See below for the two types of national data opt-outs including information and forms to opt-out:

Type 1 opt-out: medical records held at your GP practice

You can also tell your GP practice if you do not want your confidential patient information held in your GP medical record to be used for purposes other than your individual care. This is commonly called a type 1 opt-out. This opt-out request can only be recorded by your GP surgery. Click here

You have the right to control how medical information about you is shared, disseminated or sold, for purposes other than your direct medical care so called secondary uses (or purposes).

Secondary uses include projects involved in risk stratification, “population health management”, national clinical audits, research, healthcare planning, commissioning of healthcare services by CCGs, commercial and even political uses.

You can control your personal confidential information by expressing an objection, or opt-out, to your GP surgery, who will then add a special read-code, or electronic flag, to your GP record.

One such opt-out is known as a Type 1 opt-out(sometimes referred to as a 9Nu0opt-out, after the flag added when expressed).

A Type 1 opt-out, when present in your GP record, should prevent identifiable information about you being extracted from your GP record, and uploaded to any other organisation, for purposes other than your direct care.

A Type 1 opt-out should then prohibit extraction and uploading for all of the following secondary uses:

  • Risk stratification schemes (often run by your local CCG)

  • National clinical audits (such as the National Diabetes Audit)

  • The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)

  • Extraction of de-identified information about you concerning any eMed3 Statement of Fitness to Work reports (i.e. sick notes), uploaded to NHS Digital, and subsequently passed by the HSCIC to the Department of Work and Pensions

  • All extractions and uploading of identifiable information about you to NHS Digital, for any secondary purpose (so-called GPES extractions)

A Type 1 secondary use objection will in no way affect how healthcare professionals provide you with direct medical care, or prevent them accessing your medical record if and when appropriate, and with your explicit consent. Secondary uses are not about information sharing between healthcare professionals. It will have no effect on the medical care that you receive either from your GP surgery or from anywhere else within the NHS or private sector.

Click here to download the opt out form. Please print and complete this and hand to reception at the surgery or email to forum.health@nhs.net

Type 2 opt-out: information held by NHS Digital

Previously you could tell your GP surgery if you did not want us, NHS Digital, to share confidential patient information that we collect from the across the health and care service for purposes other than your individual care. This was called a type 2 opt-out.

From 25 May 2018 the type 2 opt-out has been replaced by the national data opt-out. Type 2 opt-outs that have been recorded previously have been automatically converted to national data opt-outs.

Click here more about the collection and conversion of type 2 opt-outs.

Click here for the online NHS digital form to opt out of Type 2 information sharing or click here for other ways to manage your choice

Audio version of the national data opt-out type 2 letter to patients.

Large print version of the national data opt-out type 2 letter to patients.

To order a braille version of the Your Data Matters to the NHS patient letter call 0300 330 9412.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This practice keeps medical records confidential and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation.

We hold your medical record so that we can provide you with safe care and treatment.

We will also use your information so that this practice can check and review the quality of the care we provide. This helps us to improve our services to you.

How we use your information

  • We will share relevant information from your medical record with other health or social care staff or organisations when they provide you with care. For example, your GP will share information when they refer you to a specialist in a hospital. Or your GP will send details about your prescription to your chosen pharmacy.

  • Healthcare staff working in A&E and out of hours care will also have access to your information. For example, it is important that staff who are treating you in an emergency know if you have any allergic reactions. This will involve the use of your Summary Care Record.

  • You have the right to object to information being shared for your own care. Please see the information on this page for opting out of information sharing. You have the right to have any mistakes or errors corrected.

  • We will use the data that we hold on your medical records to contact you directly in relation to your medical care. This may include text, phone or written communication.

GDPR Privacy Notices