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National data sharing GP Connect and Summary Care Record Additional Information

Background

As a part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Control of Patient Information Notice (COPI Notice) was issued (see full article).

Under this, it was agreed that GP Connect should be enabled across all GP practices to share patient data nationally for direct care purposes.  There was also a change to policy to enable Summary Care Record Additional Information to be made available by default, unless the patient had previously told the NHS that they did not want their information to be shared.

The changes made have shown benefits, improved patient safety and been positively received by patients and healthcare professionals. There has also been a continued increase of usage of both services over the last 2 years.

What this means for patients

Patients can be reassured that if they have previously opted-out of sharing their data via GP Connect, having a Summary Care Record, or declined to provide consent to share their Additional Information, their preference will CONTINUE TO BE RESPECTED and applied as part of any policy change. Patients can also continue to express a Summary Care Record consent preference and they can change their mind at any time.

What this means for health and care services

The health and care service can be assured that they have the legal basis to continue to provide and use these vital services for direct care purposes beyond 30 June 2022, when the COPI notice expires.

Health and care services will need to UPDATE THEIR PRIVACY NOTICES to ensure they no longer make reference to the COPI Notice (Guidance on this will be available soon).

Further information

In collaboration with NHS England, NHS Digital will keep stakeholders updated on the changes and further communications and engagement that will take place.

Please contact enquiries@nhs.net if you have any questions relating to this.

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