Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that is not answered here, please email it to us at comms.surreyheartlands@nhs.net and we will provide a response as quickly as possible.

The Surrey Care Record is a local, electronic shared care record for health and care professionals across the Surrey Heartlands Partnership, to allow them appropriate, safer and faster access to your information to improve your health and care services.

The Surrey Care Record is intended to make your health and social care services safer, quicker and more coordinated. By having greater access to information, quicker decisions around your care can be delivered.

It will avoid the need for you to re-tell your history to each new care provider as your data can be securely and appropriately available to relevant care professionals allowing them to deliver joined-up and informed care. This will also ensure people can support your wider care journey.

By using secure electronic systems, your patient information is held and shared more safely than the traditional methods of letters, forms, faxes and telephone calls. By “going digital” in how we share your information, we can improve the safety, accuracy, speed and quality of provision for you and your family.

Surrey Heartlands is a partnership of health and care organisations across Surrey, working together to better coordinate and improve your local health and care services.

One of the main areas of work under Surrey Heartlands is the delivery of a shared care record, the Surrey Care Record, to allow clinical and care professionals to better coordinate and deliver quality and timely health and care services.

For more information on Surrey Heartlands, please visit our website at https://www.surreyheartlands.uk/surreycarerecord.

At this time, most organisations involved in your health and care services have their own systems for storing and reviewing your information. As care professionals are now all using electronic and paperless records, they are far more able to securely share information through the use of electronic shared care records.

The Surrey Care Record provides this sharing solution to bridge the gaps in information between the professionals delivering your care.

The structured health and care information in your GP record will initially be shared with other health and care professionals under the national legal basis for sharing health and care data for your direct care.

The scope of the Surrey Care Record programme spans local primary, hospital (acute) and community care, mental health, social care, emergency services and GP out-of-hours care. Over time these partners will securely add more information relating to your health and care to more closely coordinate and improve the services you need.

However, it is important to note that access to your shared information is strictly limited and legally controlled depending on the role of each care professional and what is lawful and appropriate for them to view.

This is overseen through a binding joint information sharing agreement that all parties will sign.

A leading group of clinical and social care professionals within Surrey Heartlands also reviews and approves which particular health and care information should be securely held within the Surrey Care Record, and who can view each piece of information.

In respect of the sensitivity of some of your health and care data, some of your patient information will also not be shared, and this is explained here.

Yes. You have the right under the Data Protection Act 2018 to request access to any information that organisations like the NHS hold about you.

The data held within the Surrey Care Record is a copy of the data held within each organisation’s local system, so access would need to involve a request to each health and care organisation e.g. your GP practice, local authority or hospital.

The Surrey Care Record is for viewing by health and care professionals only to help ensure you receive quality and joined-up health and care services.

However, a separate programme is being developed to develop a Patient Portal that will allow patients wider access to their information and in the self-management of their own health and care.

Patients registered with a GP practice in the localities of North West Surrey, Surrey Downs, Guildford & Waverley and East Surrey can have their GP information included in the Surrey Care Record.

If you move to another registered practice within this geography (this excludes Surrey Heath/Frimley, as they are using a separate shared care record system), your data is retained on the Surrey Care Record platform through a data matching process, so no data is lost.

Currently, if you move out of the area or across county boundaries, your GP information would not be included but hospital data and audit information relating to your record would remain.

A wider regional health and care record sharing strategy is in development and aims to ensure your patient record will accompany you when you move across boundaries into neighbouring areas.

We ask you to think carefully before making this decision as sharing your health and social care information will make it easier for services to provide the best treatment and care for you.

If you choose to object, we may still need to share data for your care, but it will be using less immediate methods such as email. For example, with the Surrey Care Record, your GP can refer you to a hospital consultant who can then see all the data they may need, but if you are objecting they can only see what the GP put on the email.

You can object to having your Personal Data shared via the Surrey Care Record by consulting with your GP. Before objecting, please ensure that you have discussed carefully with your GP and understand what it means for you. If you choose to object:

  • You may have to answer questions repeatedly because your full history may not be available to the care professional assessing you
  • Decisions about your care may take longer, even in emergency situations, as history needs to be confirmed
  • Some medical tests may get repeated unnecessarily e.g. if you had a blood test with your hospital consultant, your GP may not be able to see this.

If you already opted out of data sharing for the purposes of your direct care, via your GP Practice, these arrangements will remain in place and your data will not be shared with the Surrey Care Record.

If you have opted out of data sharing under the National Summary Care Record, you will automatically be opted out of data sharing for direct care and the Surrey Care Record.

If you have opted out of data sharing elsewhere in the country, the appropriate opt-out codes on your patient record will be transferred and respected to ensure these arrangements remain in place.

If you have opted out and wish for the sharing of your data for your direct care to resume, please inform your registered GP Practice.

The information on the Surrey Care Record you received in our previous leaflet still applies, but has been updated to reflect the current UK legislation and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). More information is available here.

For current information on how and with whom data is shared with the Surrey Care Record, visit our Surrey Care Record Privacy Notice.

You can download our current leaflet from our Surrey Care Record web page.

Please visit the Surrey Care Record web page on the Surrey Heartlands Partnership website at https://www.surreyheartlands.uk/surreycarerecord. Here you can see a full overview of the Surrey Care Record and download leaflets and other supporting materials.

You can also email our team direct with any queries at enquiries.surreycarerecord@nhs.net.

You can find if your GP Practice has joined the Surrey Care Record through their online practice website, or through materials they are providing in their practice reception. The Surrey Care Record team will work with each participating GP practice to ensure their registered patients are appropriately informed that they are using the Surrey Care Record.

At this time, there is no requirement for the Surrey Care Record to share people’s health and care data to any of the NHS Nightingale Hospital sites. If this changes, all appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the secure and appropriate sharing of information that can support a person’s direct care.

In an integrated care system, NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve.

Local services can provide better and more joined-up care for patients when different organisations work together in this way. For staff, improved collaboration can help to make it easier to work with colleagues from other organisations. And systems can better understand data about local people’s health, allowing them to provide care that is tailored to individual needs.

By working alongside councils, and drawing on the expertise of others such as local charities and community groups, the NHS can help people to live healthier lives for longer, and to stay out of hospital when they do not need to be there. In return, integrated care system leaders gain greater freedoms to manage the operational and financial performance of services in their area.

Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) are local groups of health and care organisations, including borough councils and voluntary/community sector members, working across local geographic boundaries (Guildford & Waverley, North West Surrey, East Surrey and Surrey Downs).  Each ICP is developing its own priorities, reflecting the different needs of each local population, and thinking about how they will work differently in the future.  Common themes are emerging, with more emphasis on wellbeing and prevention and on breaking down the barriers between organisations.

STP stands for sustainability and transformation partnership. These are areas covering all of England, where local NHS organisations and councils drew up shared proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve. For more information about STPs, visit the NHS England web site.

Our vision is to improve health outcomes and add value by working together and in doing so close the health and wellbeing, care and quality and financial gaps. Details of our clinical priorities can be found here.

The Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) will deliver practical changes to improve people’s lives. These include things that patients often tell the NHS they care about – like making it easier to see a GP, speeding up cancer diagnosis and offering help faster to people with mental ill-health.

The ICS will deliver its improvements at scale across Surrey Heartlands. More locally, change will be delivered at place by the three Integrated Care Partnerships operating on the same geographical footprints as the three Clinical Commissioning Groups – NW Surrey, Surrey Downs and Guildford & Waverley.

With a range of organisations and frontline professionals working together more closely, patients are seeing services work in a more joined up way, are only having to tell their story once and are receiving care better tailored to their individual needs.

In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils came together to form 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) covering the whole of England, and set out their proposals to improve health and care for patients.

So far, 14 partnerships have evolved into Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in which NHS organisations in partnership with local councils and others take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve.  All health and care systems are expected to become Integrated Care Systems by 2021. Surrey Heartlands and neighbouring Frimley Health are already among the first of these.

People are seeing practical day-to-day benefits as their local health and social care system works to provide more seamless services; using improved understanding of data to deliver care better tailored to people’s individual needs. Communities will also see further moves to help avoid unnecessary trips to hospital and to support them in living healthier day-to-day lives.

Primary Care Networks are groups of local GPs and other partners operating at a very local level to plan and buy care for local populations of generally between 30,000 and 50,000 people. This will help put services even closer to patients.

We now have 24 Primary Care Networks across Surrey Heartlands. You can see an NHS video explaining the role of Primary Care Networks here

When fully operational the Surrey Care Record will be an extract of records from health and social care providers that can be seen and used by authorised staff in the health and care system who are involved directly in your care. Phase One of the project, commencing 29 August 2018, will see some information from GP records being made available to professionals within the A&E departments of the four local hospital trusts – St Peter’s, Royal Surrey, Epsom and East Surrey. The local hospitals will also begin sharing information into the Surrey Care Record for local GPs to access too. The remaining phases of the project are still under development.

Initially the Surrey Care Record will hold:

  • Basic information such as your name, address, postcode, NHS Number, age and GP practice details;
  • Limited information from your health records held by your GP Practice and Hospitals such as test results, medications and allergies

In time, additional health and social care providers will begin to share data into the Surrey Care Record.  Each organisation will be responsible for deciding what information about their service users should be shared into the Surrey Care Record.  This will ensure the most relevant and important information is shared.

The Surrey Care Record project follows many years of engagement by the NHS discussing the concept of shared records with the public nationwide.

You can talk informally to any health or social care professional providing you with care during an appointment and ask to see the information they hold about you.

Some GP Practices will also allow you to access your GP records online.  You can check with your GP Practice to see if you are able to access a summary of your GP record via their website. If so, they can give instructions on how to access your record. The availability of this type of access is a matter for individual GP Practices.

In either case, you can go through any concerns you may have about the accuracy of the information with the relevant professional who will be able to update the records they hold about you.  They will then be able to share accurate and up to date information with other professionals via the Surrey Care Record.

There are also proposals to extend direct access to patients, but these plans have yet to be finalised. In the meantime, only health and social care professionals will have access.

The Surrey Care Record supports the provision of direct care and enables health and social care providers to fulfil their legal duty to share information about patients where this will support their care.  Where information is shared in this way, consent is not required under the GDPR and the regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has specifically advised that consent should not be relied upon in these circumstances.  Please see the Privacy Notice for full details of how the Surrey Care Record complies with the GDPR. 

Under the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015, providers of health and social care services have a duty to share your information where this is in support of your direct care.  The Surrey Care Record helps those providing you with direct care to meet this legal duty, as well as ensuring your information is shared with those who have a need to know in order to provide you with the best possible care. 

Professionals will be required to confirm that they have a lawful basis to access a Surrey Care Record before they do so.  In most circumstances, professionals will inform you before accessing your Surrey Care Record.  This will provide you with an opportunity to object if you are not happy for them to view the information. 

Where this is not possible (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), healthcare professionals may decide to look at the record because doing so is considered to be in your best interests.

All access to the Surrey Care Record will be fully audited to ensure appropriate access to shared records at all times.

The ‘Your NHS Data Matters’ campaign is unrelated and not relevant to the Surrey Care Record.

NHS Digital launched the ‘Your NHS Data Matters’ campaign on 25 May 2018.  This is also sometimes referred to as the national data opt-out.  This national initiative enables individuals to register their choice in relation to the use of their data for purposes other than direct care, such as research and planning. This replaces previous preferences individuals may have registered with their GP in the past and anyone who has registered an opt-out in the past will have been contacted directly by NHS Digital to explain the changes.

The Surrey Care Record is a local scheme across the areas covered by four NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups – East Surrey, Guildford & Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs. The Surrey Care Record will only be used to support the direct care of patients and is not used to support other purposes such as research and planning. 

Even so, you can still choose to opt out of the Surrey Care Record. This will however mean that professionals involved in your care will not be able to access shared information about you through the Surrey Care Record. Details on how to opt out of the Surrey Care Record can be found below.

No. The Surrey Care Record will only be used by authorised health and social care professionals to provide you with care. Your Surrey Care Record will never be sold or given to insurance companies, drug companies or be used for research.

No. Other national programmes you may have heard of are completely separate. The Surrey Care Record is only integrating data in Surrey Heartlands and the area covered by NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group. We are only using the data to support your direct care.

The Surrey Care Record will only be used by authorised health and social care professionals to provide your direct care. 

Your information will be stored securely inside the NHS network and will be encrypted.  The Surrey Care Record will only be accessible to health and social care professionals who will only access your information where they or their team are directly involved in your care and have a lawful basis to access your record (e.g. your consent). 

Shared records like the Surrey Care Record provide a range of benefits to both patients and medical staff including:

  • Reducing the number of times you will need to repeat your medical history or social care information every time you deal with a new member of staff, service or organisation
  • Clinical staff will be able to work with patients in their care to make the best decisions about their diagnosis, treatment and care plan
  • Care professionals will be able to find shared information when they need it, such as test results, helping to avoid unnecessary appointments and further tests
  • Where several organisations work together to support your care, sharing information via the Surrey Care Record helps the various teams to co-ordinate your care, resulting in more time spent on better co-ordinated and safer care and less paperwork.

Professionals will be required to confirm that they have a lawful basis to access a Surrey Care Record before they do so.  In most circumstances, professionals will inform you before accessing your Surrey Care Record.  This will provide you with an opportunity to object if you are not happy for them to view the information.  If you agree, you don’t have to do anything and those caring for you will access your Surrey Care Record to support your direct care.

Where this is not possible (for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), healthcare professionals may decide to look at the record because doing so is considered to be in your best interests.

All access to the Surrey Care Record will be fully audited to ensure appropriate access to shared records at all times.

 

This is not a problem.  You can contact any participating organisation who will ensure that the sharing of your Surrey Care Record is re-enabled. 

Yes. If you want to opt-out of the Surrey Care Record you can contact any participating organisation who will ensure that the sharing of your Surrey Care Record is disabled.  This will however mean that other professionals involved in your care will not be able to access shared information about you through the Surrey Care Record.

If you have already opted out of the national Summary Care Record with your GP Practice, your GP records will automatically be excluded from the Surrey Care Record. It is important to understand that if you do this, staff caring for you may not be able to access details from your GP Practice about care you have already received, your current medications, your allergies or any bad reactions to medicines you have had in order to treat you safely in an emergency. Your GP records will stay as they are now with information being shared by letter, email, fax or phone.

Please contact enquiries.surreycarerecord@nhs.net for specific advice on the options available to you. 

If you are sure you wish to opt out of the Surrey Care Record you can fill in a Surrey Care Record opt-out form and give it to your GP practice.

These are some of the key data items from acute hospitals which may be available in the Surrey Care Record in due course:

  • Allergies
  • Medication
  • Key medical notes/record
  • Episodes
  • Diagnosis

The Surrey Care Record has been designed to ensure that providing information does not affect existing GP services at all.

Sending data to the Surrey Care Record is an automated process that happens overnight, when no treatment is being provided, and therefore does not change the care you would normally receive.

Having data on the Surrey Care Record may improve the care you receive by providing the professionals who are caring for you with access to additional accurate information about you quickly and easily.

Please contact the health or social care provider alleged to be responsible for improper use directly to register a complaint. In Phase One providers will be:

  • GP practices from:
    • North West Surrey CCG
    • Guildford and Waverley CCG
    • Surrey Downs CCG
    • East Surrey CCG
  • Hospitals:
    • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Eventually it is planned to include a wider selection of health and social care providers:

  • Surrey County Council
  • CSH Surrey
  • South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • First Community Health and Care.
  • Urgent Care and Walk-In Centres
  • Locality Hubs

In its purest sense, devolution is the transfer of powers and funds from central government to local areas to enable greater local accountability and decision-making. With regards to health, devolution can be achieved through a range of mechanisms from parties having shared decision-making processes through to delegated or devolved control over specific functions.

Establishing ourselves as a devolved health and care system places health and wellbeing as part of the infrastructure of prosperity and allows much better alignment with wider work around education, skills, work and housing to secure the best outcomes and public value for the people of Surrey Heartlands.

Securing new freedoms, flexibilities and devolved responsibilities and funding from central government departments is enabling us to take responsibility for tackling our biggest challenges locally – for example to transform the way the whole system supports our most vulnerable children and young people.

At the core of our plan is a set of proposals to eliminate variation by delivering consistent clinical and professional standards. Devolution is an essential component to unlocking far broader changes, accelerating health and social care integration and more effective collaboration in Surrey Heartlands.

Across Surrey Heartlands we have a strong history of working in partnership, both in collaborative commissioning arrangements and service delivery. Since their inception, the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in this area have worked across Surrey and with Surrey County Council to commission all children and young people’s and learning disabilities services, as well as some elements of mental health.

The development of the Surrey Better Care Fund plans and ongoing drive towards integration have helped to ensure relationships between partners are strong, with a shared vision for the future of health and care services.

 

The Surrey Heartlands agreement is different to the Greater Manchester agreement, reflecting the different size and complexity of the health economy.

The devolution footprint is aligned with our Integrated Care System footprint. Our ICS was developed to describe a wide range of health benefits and improved outcomes that will be realised for the population through the transformation of health and care services.

At the core of the strategy is a set of proposals to eliminate variation by delivering consistent clinical and professional standards. Devolution is an essential component to unlocking far broader changes, accelerating integration and more effective collaboration.