Improvements are being made to the way your care is being connected across south west London. Soon, health and care professionals will be able to immediately access important information about you from other health and care services as they are looking after you.
We are doing this by connecting the information held about you in all the different services through a secure, electronic system. This will make it quicker and easier for them to assess and treat you when they visit with you, or when you visit them.
This will be especially helpful if you are receiving care from a number of different services, as it will bring key information about you into a single view so that health and care professionals can see immediately what is important about you and how they can work together to support you. This will help them quickly make the best decisions about your care, which could be lifesaving in emergency situations.
What are the benefits for you?
- You will only have to tell us your history once
- You can avoid unnecessary or repeated appointments and tests
- Important information is immediately visible to the people caring for you
- Decisions about your care can be made more quickly with more information available.
What information will be shared?
The information shared will include:
- Name, address and NHS number
- Appointments and hospital attendances
- Important medical history, including diagnoses, medicines and allergies
- Test results, such as blood tests and x-rays.
What information will not be shared?
Certain information is classified as highly sensitive and is restricted by law, such as sexual health, assisted conception and adoption records and this information will not be shared.
Is my information safe?
Your information will continue to be stored securely in the systems of the health and care organisations who have collected it. No information is stored or saved in the Connecting your Care view – it is simply a single view that your information is pulled into to provide a summary of your important information all in one place. When the view is closed, the information is no longer visible to anyone.
Information about you is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018. In addition, all organisations are governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016, which means they are responsible for your information and must keep it safe.
Do I have a choice?
If you are happy for your information to be shared in this way, then you don’t need to do anything. The Connecting your Care system will be phased in over the next few months.
What if I want to opt out?
If you do not want your information to be shared, you have the right to opt out by visiting www.swlondon.nhs.uk/connectingyourcare and downloading the opt-out form.
You can ask anyone who is caring for you to give you an opt-out form and the accompanying leaflets, such as at your GP practice or the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) at your local hospital.
Opting out of Connecting your Care means that your information will still be shared by the people looking after you the same way it is now – by phone, email, letter and sometimes fax – but this will take time for them to collect and you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits of electronic connected care.
This means that the people looking after you may not have your full history available to them when they assess you and decisions about your care may take longer to make.
If you have previously opted out of any local or national information sharing programmes, such as the Summary Care Record, you will still need to opt out of Connecting your Care by sending us your opt-out form. Opt outs for other systems cannot be carried forward. Connecting your Care is not linked to the National Data Opt-out.
Want to find out more?
For more information visit www.swlondon.nhs.uk/connectingyourcare
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 0203 668 3100
By post: SWL Connecting Your Care – Freepost
By Connecting your Care, we will be able to better serve your health and care needs across south west London.