Health Social Care

Sharing of GP medical records across the medical profession

Sharing data across the NHS is a topical subject at the moment, with the national programme and other schemes attracting media coverage and public policy debate. Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are working to improve the way patients’ medical records are accessed by other health professionals; primarily doctors and nurses in hospitals.

Currently doctors and nurses treating patients in hospitals do not have automatic access to patients’ GP medical records. A phone call has to be made to a patients’ GP practice to ask for the medical record to be faxed through or the patient has to be treated without viewing their GP medical record. Both systems are far from ideal. 

We recently worked with a CCG who wanted to survey a sample of their local patients to explore perceptions of sharing access to GP medical records. We found that the majority of patients are in favour of medical professionals treating them to have automatic access to relevant parts of their GP medical record. However, acceptance of which medical professionals can view GP records (i.e. doctors, nurses, paramedics, social workers etc.) varied widely. Unsurprisingly in this technical age, patients who did share concerns about medical professionals viewing their GP medical record were anxious about; data protection, individuals who should not have access to records gaining access, and information being passed on to third parties.

Despite the safety concerns, ensuring the right safeguards in place, patients we have spoke to were very much in favour of other health professionals having easier access to their GP medical records. 

by Lauren Harris, Research Assistant

This entry was tagged Health & social care, Health professionals and posted on April 13, 2015

<< Back