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How information about you helps us to provide better care


Information about you and the care you receive is shared, in a secure system, by 

healthcare staff to support your treatment and care.

It is important that we, the NHS, can use this information to plan and improve 

services for all patients. We would like to link information from all the different 

places where you receive care, such as your GP, hospital and community service, 

to help us provide a full picture. This will allow us to compare the care you 

received in one area against the care you received in another, so we can see what 

has worked best.

Information such as your postcode and NHS number, but not your name, will 

be used to link your records in a secure system, so your identity is protected. 

Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such 

as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure we provide the 

best care possible for everyone.

How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are 

in place to protect your privacy.

We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices 

you have.

Benefits of sharing information

Sharing information can help improve understanding, locally and nationally, of the

most important health needs and the quality of the treatment and care provided by

local health services. It may also help researchers by supporting studies that identify

patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments and potential solutions.

Information will also help to:

    • find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses;

    • guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs
      of local patients;

    • support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions,
      and help us to take action to prevent problems;

    • improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence
      in health and care services; and

    • guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources fairly so that they can best 

    • support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients.

What will we do with the information?

We will only use the minimum amount of information we need to help us improve
patient care and the services we provide.

We have developed a thorough process that must be followed before any information
can be shared. We sometimes release information to approved researchers, if this is
allowed under the strict rules in place to protect your privacy. 

We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored
and used.

We will make sure that the way we use information is in line with the law, national
guidance and best practice. Reports that we publish will never identify a particular person.

Do I have a choice?

Yes. You have the right to prevent confidential information about you from being
shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care, except in special
circumstances. If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside
your GP practice, no further action is required. Your confidential information will remain
unused other than where necessary by law, (for example, if there is a public health

You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive

care, such as hospitals and community services. You should let your GP know if you 

want to restrict the use of this information.

Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

Do I need to do anything? 

If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is 

no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time.

If you have concerns or are not happy for your information to be shared, speak to your

GP practice or fill out the following form and hand it to reception:

Where can I get more information?

For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), please go
to the website at

You can also get further information from the website at

Or you can speak to staff at your GP practice.

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