'Better Information Means Better Care'

Important information about a patient information leaflet 'Better Information means better care'.

In January 2014, every household in England will receive a leaflet entitled 'Better Information means better care'. This leaflet is designed to support practices with their public awareness raising activities and will describe how information in medical records is used for purposes beyond the direct care of the patient, including the care.data programme, research and risk stratification. The leaflets will be delivered over a four-week period

Region 1 (North) - w/c 6 January 2014

Region 2 (Mids and East) - w/c 13 January 2014

Region 3 (South) - w/c 20 January 2014

Region 4 (London) - w/c 27 January 2014

Patients will then have a minimum of four weeks to read the leaflet and register their objection at the GP practice, if they wish to do so before the first extract begins. Awareness raising began in September 2013 so some patients will already have received leaflets and information from the GP practice. We have discussed this timetable with the Information Commissioner's Office, which has agreed that this is an appropriate timescale.

It is important that GP practices continue to raise awareness proactively with their patients about the ways in which patient information is used and shared beyond direct care. The content of the leaflet being sent to households is very similar to the leaflets we provided to practices in September 2013. However, it has been specifically designed for the household leaflet drop so it will look a little different. GP and patient representatives have provided feedback into the content of the leaflet, which has been reflected.

Extractions of GP data for care.data will begin in spring 2014. Practices will be notified by their GP system supplier in advance of any planned data extraction and will be required to agree the extract before it can be sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Note this data extract should not be confused with planned QOF extracts for the purposes of GP payments in January.

Practices cannot opt out of extractions for care.data. Using its powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS England has directed the HSCIC to make this collection. These Directions give the HSCIC the power to require the information and GPs are legally obliged to comply with that requirement.

A copy of the leaflet is available at http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/care-data/.

Further guidance is available at:

http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/data-info/

This information includes:

  • GP practice guidance on care.data, including information about the objection codes
  • Updated FAQs for GP practices
  • Updated FAQs for patients
  • Guidance on fair processing requirements
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