Ever wondered why, when you visit your GP or hospital, they can’t see all your health and care information?
And why you find yourself having to answer the same old questions over and over – about things like the medicines you take, the treatment you’ve had, and whether you have any allergies?
The simple answer is they all use different computer systems to record your details. And because these systems aren’t connected, the health and care organisations looking after you can’t see the information each other holds on you.
But that’s now changing with the introduction of the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record.
What is it?
The Shared Care Record is a way of bringing together all your separate records from the different organisations involved in your health and care. It’s confidential and different to anything you might have heard of before.
It will let health and social work professionals see relevant information about the care and treatment you’ve had across all services.
We know you only want to tell your story once when receiving care from any health or social care organisation across Birmingham and Solihull. That’s why we’ve developed the Shared Care Record.
How does this help me?
The benefits to you include:
- not having to repeat your details every time you need care
- better and, potentially, faster treatment as the professionals caring for you will be able to quickly see your records
- not having to explain your social care support to health professionals
- clinicians being able to see what medications you’re taking, what you’ve taken in the past, and if you have any allergies – making your treatment safer
- more effective treatment should you need care for COVID-19, thanks to the fast availability of information about any pre-existing conditions you might have and your medications.
Who can access my information – and what can they see?
The first phase of the Shared Care Record will allow health and social work professionals to view appropriate information contained in:
- your GP practice medical record
- information from secondary care, including hospitals, mental health and community services
- radiology and pathology results
- maternity records.
Being able to see this information will help them give you the best care as quickly as possible without having to make phone calls or wait for other organisations to forward details on.
Some of their administrative and secretarial staff will also be able to see information so they can support the professionals. An example would be to send you an appointment letter.
All staff must follow the law on keeping your information confidential. Each time they look at your records this will be recorded to make sure they’re only looking at the right information, for the right reasons.
We’ll bring together information from GPs and allow it to be seen by health professionals in hospitals, including Emergency Departments. And we’ll add information from community and social care, ambulance and NHS 111 services.
We’ll carry on developing the Shared Care Record, allowing clinicians and social work professionals across more health and social care settings to see information to support your care. We’ll also help services understand and find the best ways to meet people’s care needs.
There are strict rules around how we use your information. As part of this work, we’ll make sure it’s managed and viewed appropriately and in line with all legal requirements, including UK data protection legislation (DPA 2018 and superseding legislation). Official inspections, or audits, will check this is the case.
How can I opt out?
Yes, you have the right to object at any time if you are 16 years of age or older.
From the age of 13 to 16, we will consider your right to object if your form has been signed on your behalf by someone with parental responsibility.
If it has not, we will ask a recognised health or social work professional if they consider you to be competent to make such a decision.
If you are under the age of 13, we will only consider your right to object if your form has been signed on your behalf by someone with parental responsibility.
We don’t recommend objecting, as information that could be vital when you need health or social care support – for instance, during a visit to a hospital Emergency Department – might not be immediately to hand as a result.
Objecting will mean the services giving you care will be unable to view your records from other services through the Shared Care Record.
However, the decision is entirely yours. If you do want to object, you can do so by visiting the Right to Object page on the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record website.
Where can I get more information about the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record?
If you would like more information on the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record, this is available by:
- Phoning the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record team on 0345 646 1163
- Visiting https://www.birminghamsolihullics.org.uk/our-initiatives/shared-care-record
- Emailing the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record Team on: [email protected]