What is "Joining Up Your Information"?
Giving local health and social care professionals directly involved in your care access to the most up-to-date information about you.
Developing a secure, online system that will make health and social care information from across the NHS locally and Gloucestershire social care available at the time and place you are being treated.
Joining Up Your Information to provide the highest quality co-ordinated and cost-effective treatment.
What sort of information do we want to share?
The shared information would typically include the kind of details that different health teams are often sharing already through telephone calls, letters and faxes. All the system will do is make the information available in a view-only format, electronically.
The types of information include:
- Medication and any changes to it made by a clinician
- Medical conditions
- Operations/treatment received
- Contact details for next-of-kin and others involved in care
- Tests that GPs or hospital clinicians have requested or carried out
- Appointments (past and planned) and recent visits to out-of-hours GPs and minor injury and illness units
- (To follow phase one) Documents, such as care plans and letters about treatment (for example “discharge summaries” following a hospital stay).
Why do we want to make more information available
Better sharing of information between family doctors, hospitals, ambulance crews, community and mental health teams as well as social care staff has the potential to deliver significant benefits, including:
- More appropriate, timely and safer care, for example by avoiding unnecessary or duplicate tests and procedures
- Reducing the need for unplanned admissions to hospital and, if you are admitted, reducing unnecessary time spent in a hospital bed
- Patients will spend less time answering questions they have already been asked in other parts of the care system
Information from across the NHS would be available 24 hours a day, thus reducing the time spent checking details from multiple sources or delaying the most appropriate treatment if, for example, a GP practice is not open at the time
An information-sharing control group (including clinicians, data protection specialists and patient group representatives) will be set up to control and monitor which information is shared and who should see it. The group will review any changes to the way the information might be used and ensure this is done in line with the Data Protection Act.
As treatment within the NHS develops, use of this information might allow health and social care professionals to improve the quality of your health and care services, ensuring they are safe, effective and well managed
Opting In & Out
We hope everyone will allow us to make key parts of their healthcare information available to NHS clinicians locally and social care professionals in Gloucestershire.
We are writing to every adult registered with a Gloucestershire GP practice telling them about this important step forward to help us provide the best and most efficient care that we can.
Patients who are happy to take part do not need to do anything.
Those who do not wish to have their details shared will have 12 weeks from the date the letter was sent to opt out using the methods described in the letter and information leaflet.
It is possible to change your mind at any time but after the 12 weeks you will need to visit the pratice to sign an opt out form.
All newly registered patients will be given information and a form when they register with the practice.
What if I opt out?
If I decide to opt out, how will this affect the treatment I receive?
While you are free to opt-out of sharing your information through Joining Up Your Information, it is important that you understand the implications of doing so.
GPs, hospitals, community health, mental health and social care teams all hold important information about patients but it is often not available to people working in other parts of your local NHS and care community.
This is because different parts of the system are using specialised but currently unlinked systems so important information in one part of the NHS may not be readily available to people treating you in another.
Doctors, nurses and other people providing care will base their treatment on the information they have about you – often relying on referral information from other health and social care colleagues.
They need this information to make sure you receive the best and most appropriate care, but if more details are needed you might have to repeat answers you have already given, fill out more forms or even undergo tests that have already been carried out at an earlier stage of your treatment.
It could also mean delays if, for example, a hospital consultant has to contact your GP surgery to confirm details – this is often by letter, fax or telephone.
The Joining Up Your Information project team is developing a secure online system that will make key parts of your medical records available whenever and wherever they are needed to staff who are directly involved in caring for you.
Remember, the details they will have access to are already being shared (by letter, fax or telephone, for example) – all we are doing is using secure technology to give authorised, qualified and regulated health and care professionals better access.
The right information, in the right place, at the right time.
More information is available on the JUYI website http://www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/joiningupyourinformation/index.php