London Care Record: frequently asked questions
General information about the London Care Record
What is the London Care Record?
In the past, health and social care workers from different local organisations involved in your care have not had a system in place to share important information about your care automatically.
To solve this problem, we have developed the London Care Record. This is a single digital view of important information about you. This means, it displays information from separate record systems all in one place. Professionals who are involved in your care can see this information quickly and safely, so that they can treat and care for you.
The London Care Record does not gather new information. It makes existing information more accessible, anywhere you receive care. This means those involved in your care, such as GPs, hospital staff, district nurses, and social workers will now have faster access to information about you when they’re caring for or treating you. This helps them provide you with the most timely and efficient treatment.
How is the London Care Record going to benefit you?
Confidential and secure, the London Care Record helps doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals directly involved in your care to make better, safer decisions.
Often when you see a care professional, important information about you is not available at that time. This can risk you repeating appointments or blood tests unnecessarily. It can also mean you are asked to repeat your medical information or history on many occasions. For example, if you are treated in the emergency department (A&E) at hospital, the staff might have to spend time contacting other organisations to get relevant information, such as allergies, medicine reactions, or the results of any tests at your GP surgery.
With the London Care Record the professionals treating you will be able to see your medical history at a glance. It means that frontline professionals can focus on providing you with the right treatment, rather than wasting time trying to get all the information they need. This will speed up treatment and may help to avoid unnecessary admission into hospital.
Why are you sharing my health record?
Putting the right information in the hands of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals at the right time can save lives and improve care. Having access to information held by other health and care organisations means clinicians can better understand your needs, and make the best decisions for your care.
For example, if a patient had a scan at another hospital in London, doctors and nurses at King’s could view the results, rather than carry out the same scan again. This is safer and more convenient for the patient as they are not subjected to more scans, and it speeds up the patient’s access to the treatment they need.
Can I see my information in the London Care Record online?
No, not yet. However, this is something we are keen to introduce at a later stage.
Can I get a copy of my information on the London Care Record?
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you can request a copy of your record. To do this you need to contact each care organisation involved in your care to obtain a copy of your records, via their local Subject Access Request processes.
What is the difference between the Local Care Record and the London Care Record?
There are two technology solutions used in South East London to share health and care information with those professionals involved in your treatments and care. The Local Care Record allows clinicians to look at the records on other organisations’ systems. The London Care Record is a Shared Care Record – healthcare organisations all share their patient data to a central repository. The shared data in South East London is held at the Lewisham and Greenwich Cerner Health Information Exchange (HIE), which is linked to other HIEs across London. Clinicians with a professional relationship with a patient can look at the patient’s record in their own system and click a link through to the London Care Record where they can see the combined record on the HIE from other healthcare organisations rather than looking into each organisation’s patient records system. The London Care Record brings more information into a single view, in a way that is easier to use to deliver your better, faster and safer care. In time, the London Care Record will replace the Local Care Record.
Sharing of your information via the London Care Record
What is data sharing in London Care Record?
The quality of your care can be improved by ‘data sharing’. This is when information about you is shared between local NHS and social care organisations who provide you with direct care. The people sharing this data are called the Direct Care Team.
The sharing of information has always happened with paper processes but digital systems are allowing us to share more relevant information about you with your Direct Care Team. This helps them be more efficient and supports decisions that they and you make about your care.
What information will be shared in the London Care Record?
The London Care Record contains important information about you. This includes:
- your name, date of birth, gender, address, contact details and NHS number to help identify you correctly
- the name of your GP Practice and GP to support primary care
- information about your appointments and hospital attendances
- medicines you are taking plus details of medication reactions and allergies, immunisations and diagnoses
- test results, hospital referrals, admissions, discharges and clinics attended
- social and mental health information and care plans
Clinicians will only check relevant information, based on your needs at the time.
What information will NOT be shared in the London Care Record?
We will not share certain information that is not allowed to be shared by law. Special categories of personal data such as attendance at sexual health clinics, fertility treatment records, and records relating to gender reassignment will not be included. Only information shared by care providers can be viewed on the London Care Record.
Partners involved in the London Care Record
Who at King’s will see my health records?
Clinicians looking at our patient record system will be able to go through to the London Care Record. Clinicians are only entitled to access patients’ records to patients they are delivering care to.
Will all of my health information be shared?
No - only relevant information will be shared. For example, pathology results (e.g. blood tests), radiology reports, letters from King’s to other healthcare providers such as GPs and mental health professionals.
Who can view my information on the London Care Record?
Only health, social and care professionals directly involved in your care can access your information, at point of care:
- your GP
- A and E teams in London if you go there for an emergency
- the social care team looking after you in your home
- your data is being shared for Direct Care purposes only.
Access to your information is fully auditable. This means, there will be a record of who has looked at your information, what they looked at, and when.
Which organisations are involved in the London Care Record?
The London Care Record will include sharing of patient data from:
- GP practices
- Acute services, such as hospitals and A&E
- Community services
- Out of hours and NHS 111 providers
- Social care services
- Mental health trusts
Once fully rolled out, the London Care Record will include information from across London which includes:
- North East London
- South East London
- South West London
- North Central London
- North West London
Additionally, some out of London hospitals are connected like:
- Milton Keynes University Hospital
- Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
- Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
- Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (viewing data only)
- West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (contributing data only)
Can the government or organisations involved with insurance or research view or use the London Care Record?
No. The London Care Record will only be used by health and care professionals involved in delivering your treatments or care. Third parties, companies or individuals not directly involved in your care will not be able to view or access your record.
Will councils use information in the London Care Record when assessing my benefits claims?
No, only those involved in your care can view your health and care information on the London Care Record when delivering your care.
Restricting access to your information in the London Care Record
Can I refuse to have my information on the London Care Record? Will this affect my care?
Clinical information has always been shared by letter, email, or phone. This meant that there could be a delay for professionals caring for you to access all the information they needed immediately for your treatment. Now, with the London Care Record, all the information will be shared securely to let care professionals to provide fast, and safe care for you. Only health and care professionals who need to access your information will have access to your information.
You can object to your records being shared between services. To do this, you can speak to the person providing your care such as a GP, healthcare professional or social worker.
However, it’s important to know that:
- not allowing access to your information might affect the quality and timeliness of care you receive
- only health and social care professionals involved in your care are allowed to access this information. These people view patient records to provide the best quality care they can
- in many situations, it is necessary to share information between services to deliver care.
There may be circumstances where an objection by a patient may not be upheld. For example if it is in the public interest for information to be shared, such as a safeguarding issue, or in the case of an individual who might be at risk from harming themselves or a member of the public.
If it is not upheld this will be communicated to you, including the reason for the request not being upheld and details of how to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.
How do I request to stop sharing my information on London Care Record?
You have the right to object to your information being available through the London Care Record. Patients can object to their records being shared between services. To do this, they can speak to the person delivering care such as their GP, healthcare professional or social worker.
For advice about data protection, privacy, data sharing issues and your rights or you want to stop sharing, you can contact the team or complete the Individual Rights Request form at https://www.lewishamandgreenwich.nhs.uk/london-care-record, or speak to your health or social care team. You can also call 020 3192 6011 and leave your name and number for someone to contact you.
Can I stop certain healthcare staff from seeing my information?
Your health and care professionals have access to your data based on their job role. If you are concerned about sharing sensitive information, please talk to a GP or the healthcare professional treating you.
In the past, I’ve said I do not want my information shared on ConnectCare or the Local Care Record. Do I need to ask that my information is also not shared on the London Care Record?
No. If you have already requested to stop sharing on ConnectCare or the Local Care Record, then you will not have to request again for London Care Record.
If I have already opted out of the Summary Care Record will this automatically apply to the London Care Record?
No, you will need to let us know if you want to stop sharing your information on the London Care Record.
I am a patient at Oxleas and have NOT chosen to restrict sharing of my information in ConnectCare. How will the introduction of the London Care Record impact the use of my data?
ConnectCare is now becoming the London Care Record. Your information can now be accessed by those involved in your care in other areas of London. Your key health and care information is viewable on the London Care Record.
What do patients do if they would like to make a complaint about improper use of the London Care Record?
Patients can talk to their health or care professional or GP if they have any concerns about improper use of the London Care Record. An audit trail will be used to investigate this, and inappropriate access by staff members is taken very seriously and formal investigations would be carried out.
All health and care organisations have complaints procedures. If you want to make a complaint, please contact a health or social care professional involved in your care, or speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) or complaints department at the hospital. Patients also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office about breaches of confidentiality.
Where is the evidence that people want their health data shared with other health services?
The rollout of the London Care Record is already demonstrating wide-ranging benefits for patients and health professionals. It is useful, usable, and used.
Work to develop the London Care Record is underpinned by an extensive programme of public engagement to understand and respond to Londoners’ expectations of the use of health and care data. This has included a large-scale deliberation with 100 participants reflective of London’s diverse population. The majority of participants (97%) expected all health and care organisations in London to join up identifiable information to support the provision of care to individuals.
This mandate from Londoners gives the system and health and care professionals the reassurance and confidence to accelerate information sharing pan-London for the purposes of direct care.
Is my information on the London Care Record secure?
Yes, your information is secure. London Care Record can only be accessed by registered health and social care professionals who are authorised to view it, and only at point of care.
By law, everyone working in health and social care or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect privacy and keep all information safe. Information can only be accessed over a secure health and care network. An audit trail is maintained to record access to records.
The London Care Record is enabled by a network of health information exchanges (HIEs) which joins up data safely and securely. Protecting your information in the London Care Record is very important. The confidentiality of patients and their data is carefully protected and safeguarded every time it is used. Only those healthcare professionals directly involved in your care are entitled to access your information in the London Care Record.
The London Care Record is underpinned by an Information Sharing Agreement between all the health and care organisations involved. This means they commit to sharing information in a secure way that is compliant with General Data Protection Regulations, which provides the legal basis to share information between health and care services when it is needed to deliver care.
The use of information is strictly controlled and used by health and care providers in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice, the NHS Records Management Code of Practice and the NHS Information Security Code of Practice. All partners involved are compliant with the Data Security and Protection (DSP) toolkit.
Can I be confident that my health record will not be checked by any unauthorised personnel?
Only staff delivering patient care have access to patients’ records. Security beaches by health and care staff are taken extremely seriously, and regular access audits will take place.
I’m new to the area – am I included?
If you are registered with a participating GP practice, or have received care from any of the other participating organisations, then you will have your information included automatically.
Is this the same as Summary Care Record (SCR)?
No, the national Summary Care Record is not the same as your information in the London Care record. The London Care Record will provide a more detailed view of your health and care, and will only be available to professionals involved in your care when treating or caring for you.
Is this related to Care.data?
No, Care.data was a national NHS service to collect non-identifiable patient information from GP practices to help in planning and research. The London Care Record is not linked to Care.data in any way.
Why is my information seen by other care providers when I don’t receive health or care services outside South East London (SEL)?
Only those directly involved in your care will be able to access your information at the point of care. So if you only receive services in South East London, only South East London care providers would access your information when treating you.
Who can I contact for more information?
You can read more about the London Care Record and its benefits on the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust’s website. If you do not have access to the website, you can call 020 3192 6011 and leave your name and number for someone to contact you.