NHS England: Automatic Access to GP Records - Thyroid UK

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NHS England: Automatic Access to GP Records

DJR1 profile image

It has been announced today that all Systems that support GP Practices within NHS England will move to AUTO SWITCH ON of patients prospective digital medical records from APRIL 2022.

This will apply initially to TPP and EMIS systems. Practices that use VISION have not finalised arrangements.

This is excellent news as application for enhanced access will not be required, confusion on how to configure systems and outright refusal by some GP Practices will be swept away. You will see your test results, consultation details etc after they have been checked by the GP. A time limit will be announced for checking results.

This is a step in the right direction for those of us who want to see our records and results. Historical record access will still need to be requested as described in the GP contract. However there are plans to make historical access requests via the NHS App in the future.

Unfortunately the live switch on was originally 1 December but GP objected to the short notice but nevertheless April is not too long to wait. We are getting there!

9 Replies

Thank you for that information DJR1. Hope they don’t get held up by the Easter eggs

Thats great news, long overdue ! Thanks for bringing it to our attention, :)

Do you know the implication on data sharing? That's the reason I came off the EMIS app (and notified the GP surgery to disable my access).

DJR1 profile image
DJR1 in reply to Babette

Yes indeed people are dying because allergies, previous surgeries and complications recorded in medical records are not available throughout the NHS networks. My son was in a critical condition in an ED and there was no available information to save his life apart from the records we had stored on our phone. We are behind many countries in the Europe with our poor health service records and behind on the global strategy.

Individuals can opt out of sharing their health information on the NHS App and by submitting a Type 1 opt out to the GP. My view is that all my health information should be available to me and the recent change in the GMS contract gives me the opportunity to access all my health information. The errors contained within records are far more dangerous than the benefit of digital sharing.

Indeed for direct health care your records can be accessed without your permission by any clinicians involved in your care.

Babette profile image
Babette in reply to DJR1

Yes, I'm aware of opting out and have done that at both levels.

I'm sorry to hear about your son's experience and hope he's ok now.

I wasn't referring to clinicians accessing data. The terms and conditions in the EMIS app state that your records can be shared without your permission. My question was whether digitising records would have an impact on selling our "pseudonymised" data on to anaytical firms. There's also the risk of data leaks.

DJR1 profile image
DJR1 in reply to Babette

I do understand your concerns and patient access and control of access to our data are important but separate issues. For the last 20 years or more GP practices have used computerised records instead of handwritten notes. There are four systems in use, EMIS Web, TPP, Microtest and VISION. All GP medical records on stored in one of these systems as there is no paper copy.

All your digital records will be on the EMIS system. The App designed for EMIS Web is PATIENT ACCESS. The App allows you access to link into the EMIS GP system to engage with their services. By deleting the App you do not change or remove your digital record on the EMIS Web server. It is the only source of your GP record and as patients we have no choice or control on what is on that system, we cannot remove our information from it.

By using an App which connects you to the system you have more control as you can see errors and track who has accessed your record.

When patients are refused digital access or choose not to use them remarkably, in reality they are the ONLY people who do not have access to their own information.

Security of information is huge which is why type 1 and 2 opt outs were available and the NHS App includes an opt out opportunity.

Campaigners like me have fought for access to enable care but also to correct errors. We also fight for control and security. The recent data sharing plans for GP records were postponed because of huge opposition. It is essential that citizens are asked for permission to view our individual records and we should be able to refuse access for any other reason including sharing for research. I am confident these steps will be put in place. I have a Type 1 opt out recorded on my records and I have used the NHS App opt out to control my information. However I use Patient Access, Evergreen and the NHS App to connect to the EMIS Web to read my records, track viewing, check vaccination history, make appointments etc There is a remote risk of data leak but the benefit of digital records is huge. The security layers currently in place are reassuring.

I hope that explanation gives you some reassurance.

Babette profile image
Babette in reply to DJR1

I think we're approaching this from different sides. I'm not looking for your reassurance. I was asking for information on data sharing.

Please don't get me wrong; I can see the benefits of legitimate access to your own health records. I've been working in IT for over 20 years and sit on a committee that reviews data access, how the risk of breaches and leaks can be reduced (can they ever be fully avoided?), etc. Once your records are in the public domain, there's no getting them back. And it's not as though that hasn't happened before:

"NHS Digital recently identified a supplier defect in the processing of historical patient objections to the sharing of their confidential health data. An error occurred when 150,000 Type 2 objections set between March 2015 and June 2018 in GP practices running TPP’s system were not sent to NHS Digital. "

Source: questions-statements.parlia...

DJR1 profile image
DJR1 in reply to Babette

There are so many facets to data sharing and digitisation. I guess my answer was framed around my original post. The auto switch on above will not increase digitisation or wider access to the EMIS system. It will allow patients to access the information already held about them on that system and use services.

Looking at the wider context no systems are perfect, there are layers of controls in place however process errors happen as you describe. I guess with that in mind it is down to the risk/benefit of having your personal information available on digital platforms. I share your concerns and I too am very keen to protect my information.

Fab news I requested my medical records an they only went back as far as 1998 after my 2nd son was born , nothing in regards to my illnesses a etc before then an wanted 30 quid for full records so this is great news thank you🥰

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