This is a transcript of my My View column that was published in the Doncaster Star on Monday 15 January, 2018
In the next few weeks the NHS will introduce a new, secure way of sharing patients’ care information that’s set to revolutionise the way we look after people in Doncaster.
The Integrated Doncaster Care Record (IDCR) is a means of viewing information about the care you receive from local NHS and social care services. If you give permission it will enable health and care staff in different locations to see information about you so they can make quicker and safer decisions about your care.
Why is it needed? Over the years, there’s a good chance you will have received care at a number of places in Doncaster – from hospitals to GP surgeries – the details of which will be stored on different computer systems in various centres. This new electronic care record has pieced together those computer systems so, for the first time, those who look after you can see a detailed picture of your health and care history.
I’m excited about the potential this new system offers – quicker and more efficient care for you by replacing more traditional forms of information sharing, such as letters and phone calls.
Importantly, safeguards have been built into the system to protect your confidentiality. Information about you will only be shared with those Doncaster based health and care professionals who are caring for you. And they will only be able to view information that is relevant to the care they are providing. This means, for example, that a social worker will see different parts of your record to an occupational therapist.
It will not contain sensitive information, such as your sexual health history and your information will not be shared with third parties, like insurance companies.
The kind of information that will be shared includes: medications you are taking; allergies; previous referrals to services; dates and reasons for any hospital admissions; and any care plans and care packages you have.
The IDCR is set to go ‘live’ on Friday 23 March, 2018 and will initially contain information about you recorded at Doncaster’s two NHS trusts, GP surgeries, Doncaster Council’s adult social care service, and the local out-of-hours and urgent care service. But this is just the start. In time, more service providers will add information, such as ambulance services and community pharmacies.
You can give your consent for a professional to see your record every time you come into contact with services, or you can give on-going consent to anyone involved in your care, so you don’t have to be asked again.
You can also choose to opt out of sharing your record all together. But please think carefully before doing so as sharing your information will make it easier for Doncaster services to provide the best care for you. Look out for the patient leaflet I’m holding or go to www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/idcr to find out more and download a copy.