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Frequently Asked Questions

What is My Care Record?

The people caring for you need to access information about your health and care, in order to make the best decisions about your diagnosis and treatment. This could include GPs, hospital-based clinicians, nurses, health visitors and social workers.

My Care Record provides health and care professionals with electronic access to your medical records during your treatment.

For this to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place using existing computer systems.  This allows your information to be accessed by health and care clinicians and professionals within local health and care organisations that are providing you with care.

This does not share your record, but provides health and care clinicians and professionals access to view information relevant to your care and treatment.

For example, this would include allowing a hospital doctor to see the medication that a GP has prescribed for you when you go into hospital or allowing a GP to see what care, tests or treatment you received while in hospital.

Why has My Care Record been created?

Health and care organisations across Hertfordshire and west Essex have taken great strides in bringing together health and care services in order to improve the experience of patients.

As part of this work, we want to ensure that health and care professionals directly involved in a person’s care have access to the most up-to-date information about them.

How is My Care Record accessed?

Previously patient information and care records will have been made available via traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email, which can be slow and, at times, unreliable, and possibly prolonging  diagnosis and treatment. My Care Record is accessed via the different and secure health and care computer systems. If your record is requested, it collects the information from the different systems and shows the information to the health or care professional treating you. 

My Care Record is ‘read only’ and information is viewed from your original record.

 

Who can amend or add information to My Care Record?

If any comments need to be made, they will be added to your local record and will be attached to My Care Record the next time it is viewed. These notes are not made to the original record as this is a ‘read only’ view.

What Information will be made available?

The record accessed is your medical record which is made available from health and care organisations involved in your care. Therefore, My Care Record provides up-to date and relevant health and care information about you, to health and care professionals involved in your care.

Examples of information that will be available include:

  • Name, address, NHS Number and phone number
  • Medications
  • Test results and investigations
  • Correspondence
  • Clinical history
  • Emergency department treatment
  • Future and past appointments
  • Health plans and alerts
  • Mental health alerts and diagnoses
  • Social care lead co-ordinator and your care plan.
  • Additional information  relevant to your health and care

If there is other information within your records that you do not wish to make available please speak to your GP or health and care professional.

What are the benefits of My Care Record?

What are the benefits of My Care Record?

By making your information available across the health and care system, your GP practice, hospital team or community nurse will be able to see the most up-to-date, accurate information about you and be able to make better and quicker decisions about your care.

This will be especially helpful when care is being provided by a range of professionals, is unplanned or in an emergency. 

It will allow health and care professionals directly involved in your care to work with you to make safe and fully informed decisions. 

As well as providing you with seamless, safer and quicker treatment, it also means you do not have to give the same information to lots of different people, so more time can be spent on your care.

In essence you will receive:

  • Better co-ordinated and seamless care
  • Quicker diagnosis and treatment
  • More time to spend on clinical care
  • Less paperwork and less repetition
  • Fewer unnecessary clinical tests
  • More accurate prescriptions
  • Safe and secure decision-making

 

Who can view my record?

Only health and care professionals who are involved in your care will have access to your record.

Third parties, private companies or health and care staff who are not directly involved in your care will NOT be able to access your record.

Who is leading My Care Record?

My Care Record is involves local NHS and social care organisations across Hertfordshire and west Essex. It is overseen by senior managers and clinicians across all partner organisations and strict audit controls are in place to ensure we all adhere to governance guidelines.

A full list of organisations who have access to My Care Record will be available and updated on http://www.mycarerecord.org.uk/more-information.

Can I chose whether I would like My Care Record to be available or not, and to whom?

You can opt out of allowing access to My Care Record,  but this will mean we won’t be able to see your history (eg what medications you are on), recorded by other health and care professionals.

Opting out may impact on the time taken to diagnose and treat your symptoms.

You are in control and can change your mind at any time about who accesses your information and for what time period.

If there is information within your records that you do not wish to make available please speak to your GP or health and care professional.

It is not possible to choose in advance which health or care professionals are able to view your My Care Record. However, there are rules in place to make sure that only those directly involved in your health and care will view your record.

I’ve made my decision – what do I do next?

You don’t need to do anything if you are happy for your GP to share your information with other health and care professionals. Alternatively, you can opt out of allowing doctors, nurses, carers, social workers, or specialists to access your information. You can change your mind at any time.

Can I choose whether I would like My Care Record to be available or not?

You can opt out of allowing access to My Care Record,  but this will mean we won’t be able to see your history (eg what medications you are on), recorded by other health and care professionals.

Opting out may impact on the time taken to diagnose and treat your symptoms.

You are in control and can change your mind at any time about who accesses your information and for what time period.

If there is information within your records that you do not wish to make available please speak to your GP or health and care professional.

It is not possible to choose in advance which health or care professionals are able to view your My Care Record. However, there are rules in place to make sure that only those directly involved in your health and care will view your record.

 

How do I opt-out of making My Care Record available?

If you do not wish to make your information available you can choose to opt-out by speaking to your GP practice. They will ask you to complete a form and, once this has been completed, it will block access to your record.

If you are receiving treatment from another health and care professional, your information will not be made available. Opting out may impact on the time taken to diagnose and treat your symptoms.

However, you can change your mind at anytime. To opt back in please speak to your GP practice. 

Can children’s records be opted out and what about someone with mental health problems?

A parent or guardian can request to opt out children under 16 but ultimately it is the GP’s decision whether to share the records or not, because of their duty of care to the child. If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 and feel that they are able to understand, then you should make this information available to them. In addition, if you are unable to make your own decisions due to mental health issues, someone who is legally responsible for another adult can opt out on their behalf.

Who can amend or add information to My Care Record?

If any comments need to be made, they will be added to the local record and will be attached to My Care Record the next time it is viewed. 

How do I know My Care Record is kept secure?

Your information can only be accessed over a secure healthcare network and by professionals who are involved in your care.

By law, all people working in health and social care or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe. Everyone within the health and care sectors must complete mandatory information governance training.

An audit trail is maintained on access to My Care Record to ensure that only those who are involved in your care, have accessed your record.  

How will I know My Care Record is being accessed?

Whenever possible, professionals will inform you that they are accessing your record. This may not be possible every time, for example in an emergency, or to view test results.  However, each time a person accesses your information there is a clear record of it and this information can be provided to you.

Can I access My Care Record?

You can request access to any information that an organisation holds about you, including electronic and paper records. You may also be able to access your own records electronically.  If you wish to do this please contact the relevant organisation for example: your registered GP practice, local hospital or other health and care organisation which your request relates to.

In the future, we are hoping that My Care Record will be accessible to patients through an online system

Can my carer give consent on my behalf?

Yes, your carer, or family member can give consent for a health and care professional to access your information if you do not have the capacity to make this decision for yourself – and provided the correct Power of Attorney is in place. If you have opted out – this information cannot be viewed.

How does My Care Record differ from other schemes such as care.data?

Care.data was a programme introduced in 2014, where information on GP records would be shared with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). This has been suspended (July 2016) following a review by Dame Fiona Caldicott, but is maintained (archived) for historical purposes

My Care Record is a local programme which has been introduced to provide better joined-up, seamless care to people living locally and is not linked to Care.data in any way. 

How does My Care Record differ from a Summary Care Record (SCR)?

My Care Record provides a more detailed view of your health, care and treatment records from your local NHS and social care organisations.

The Summary Care Record is used nationally and is a snapshot of the record held by your GP Practice. My Care Record is local.   

I have previously opted out of the national Summary Care Record. Does that mean I have to opt out of My Care Record too?

If you have previously opted out of sharing your records, you will automatically be opted out of the My Care Record too. You can still opt in to My Care Record only, which will make your information available to those health and care professionals involved in your care.

Please speak to your GP if you would like to opt in to My Care Record and this will not affect your other opt out preferences.

What information is included from social care in My Care Record?

GPs, nurses and social workers work closely together to ensure local people get the best possible care and support. Although My Care Record does not currently contain all of your social care information it is likely to contain some that is relevant to your care, treatment or support.  This may include information about the support you are receiving in the community.

Our ambition in the future is to include more social care information, where relevant, to further support and completely join-up your care.  We will provide you with more information about this in the future.

Will social services assess my benefits from using My Care Record?

No, My Care Record will only be used for direct patient care and support by health and care professionals involved in your care.

Can the government view or use My Care Record?

No, My Care Record will only be used for direct patient care and support by health and care professionals involved in your care.

If I receive treatment or care outside of the local area, will this update My Care Record?

My Care Record includes information from health and care organisations who are involved in your care and GP Practices that have signed up to be part of My Care Record.  No additional organisations or external companies will be able to access or update your record.

A full list of organisations that are involved in My Care Record and who may have access to your record, is available on www.mycarerecord.org.uk . This could include any health and care organisations who are involved in your treatment in and around Hertfordshire and west Essex.

When will my information start to be made available?

My Care Record is available at some local hospitals, and GP practices with the other NHS and social care organisations joining over the next two years. We are also working with some GP practices who will be accessing hospital information through their systems. Visit the My Care Record website at www.mycarerecord.org.uk for further information on which organisations will be joining and when their records will be available.

Data sharing agreements will be signed by all organisations as they join My Care Record. This means they will be agree to strict rules and standards under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on how they access your information. 

Will you be sharing my information with or selling it to research or insurance companies?

No, My Care Record personal information will not be shared with or sold to external or private organisations including research or insurance companies.

What do I do if I would like to make a complaint about improper use of My Care Record?

Please talk to your GP or health and care professional if you have any concerns or questions. You can also go to: http://www.mycarerecord.org.uk/contact-us.

Are there any exceptions?

Information will only be accessed with your consent and while you are receiving treatment by a health and care professional – unless it is information that is routinely accessed by a GP such as laboratory tests, blood results, past and future appointments.

On occasion, specialists may also need to access your record, for example to interpret the results of your laboratory tests. They may need to check if you are taking any medication or if you have any pre-existing conditions which may affect the results. This is no different from any other health or care professional involved in your direct care accessing your record. By agreeing to the test(s), you are also agreeing to these specialists accessing your record where appropriate.