We’re improving the way we connect your care across South West London.
Health and social care professionals are now able to access your records from other care services when you need them to. This will make it quicker and easier for you when you visit your GP or hospital or when you are speaking to a social worker.
Connecting your Care means that people involved in your care such as your GP, hospital doctors or nurses at the participating hospitals (Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, Epsom & St Helier University Hospital, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) will be able to see important information about you through a secure system. This will help them make the best decisions about your care, which could be lifesaving in emergency situations.
In the future, we will also be working with other health and social care providers to share a more detailed care record for you, which will include the treatment you receive from community NHS services, mental health services and social care services. This will allow everyone involved in your care to be able to make the best decisions for your treatment.
- 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
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
Certain information is classified as highly sensitive and is restricted by law, such as sexual health, assisted conception and adoption records – this information will not be shared.
Your information will continue to be stored securely in the systems of the health and social care organisations who have collected it. No information is stored or saved on the Connecting your Care viewer.
Information about you is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018. This means that health and social care professionals:
- can see information about you only so that they can provide you with the care that you need
- must keep your records secure
- have a duty of confidence
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.
Information about you will not be shared with, or sold to, private companies.
Only the people directly involved in your care – either at the time and place you see them, or when they are preparing to see you or following up results, clinical letters or follow up care – will be able to see information about you. This might be your GP or practice nurse or hospital doctors and nurses, along with administrators who might be arranging your appointments and care.
Unless you choose not to be, you will be automatically included in Connecting your Care.
If you are happy for your information to be shared in this way, then you don’t need to do anything.
If you have previously opted-out and wish to opt-in again, you can do this by completing our opt-in form (PDF) and returning it to by mail to: Freepost SWL CONNECTING YOUR CARE, or scan and return via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not want your information to be shared, you have the right to opt-out by filling in our opt-out form (PDF) and returning it to by mail to: Freepost SWL CONNECTING YOUR CARE, or scan and return via email to email@example.com.
You can also pick up an opt-out form from your GP practice or the Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) at one of the participating hospitals:
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
- Epsom & St Helier University Hospital
- St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust
- Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Opting-out means that your information will continue only to be shared in the same way it is now – by phone, email or letter – but this will take time to collect and you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits of sharing information electronically through Connecting your 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.
Opting-out of Connecting your Care is not linked in any way to the national data opt-out or any other data sharing arrangements.