​​​​​​How GP practices share your information

How does my GP share my information with other health services I'm using?

Staff at your GP practice may use your information to help them to deliver more effective treatment to you, and to help them to provide you with proactive advice and guidance.

Patient referrals

With your agreement, your GP may refer you to other services and healthcare providers, or they may work with other services to provide your care in the practice. Other services and health care providers will normally tell your GP surgery about the treatment they provide you and your GP or nurse will include this in your record.

Local Care Record

Your local NHS organisations in Southwark have a duty to keep complete, accurate and up-to-date information about your health, so that you can receive the best possible care.

Sometimes the people caring for you need to share some of your information with others who are also supporting you. This could include GPs, hospital based specialists, nurses and health visitors.

To enable this information sharing to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place in Southwark called the Local Care Record.

Health and care staff working in south east London - Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark – now have better access to more accurate information, so they can provide safer, faster and more effective care and support.

Two systems have been linked together so that relevant information about you can be safely shared between the staff who need it across the whole of south east London. This means that no matter where you receive care in south east London, the staff looking after you will have the most up-to-date information when they need it.

Information is only shared when it is needed to make your care and treatment safer, easier and faster and only with those people directly involved in your care. This could 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.

Whenever possible, professionals will inform you that they are accessing your care record. This may not be possible every time, for example in an emergency, however each time a person accesses your information there will be a clear record of it.

Above all the Local Care Record will allow professionals supporting you to work with you to make safer and better decisions about your care. ​

To find out more or if you wish for your information not to be shared, please talk to your GP or healthcare professional. You can read more and watch a film​ about the Local Care Record system on the ​​King's Health Partners website​.

Does my GP practice share my information with anyone else? 

Other NHS organisations

Sometimes your practice shares information with other organisations that do not treat you, for example, the clinical commissioning group. Normally, it will not be possible to identify you from this information. In exceptional circumstances, for example when required by law, court order or if we have specific concerns, we may share information about you with other authorities.

NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) uses GP patient records to obtain anonymous information to help plan and improve healthcare services. The information collected includes data such as the area patients live, age, gender, ethnicity, language preference, country of birth and religion. The CCG also collects information about whether patients have long term conditions such as diabetes; blood pressure, cholesterol levels and medication. However, this information is anonymous and does not include anything written as notes by the GP and cannot be linked to you. The information is shared by GPs with NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group, Southwark Public Health  and researchers at King’s College London, to identify patterns of illnesses and local health needs. This helps the local NHS to plan the best ways of improving services to make sure everyone can access good health care. The information collected by the CCG is private and secure and stored by us as anonymous data.

National services

There are some national services like the National Cancer Screening Programme that collect and keep information from across the NHS. The is how the NHS knows when to contact you about services like cervical, breast or bowel cancer screening. Often you have the right to not allow these organisations to have your information. Please ask your GP or other practice staff about this or go to the your rights section.

You can find out more about how the NHS holds and shares your information for national programmes on the NHS Choices website.

Health research

Occasionally your GP practice works with researchers who would like to work with patients to help them with their research. If your GP thinks you might be suited, they will write to you and ask if you would like to participate. Your practice will never pass on your details without your consent.