How your information is used
Individual direct care
In order to provide the best possible care Health and Social Care services need to share some of your information from your care record. The sorts of things that are shared are things like your medication, past and current treatments, care provided and the tests that have been undertaken. At present this sharing of information happens in a range of different ways from letters, phone calls, faxes, secure email and connected computer systems. Some of these methods are faster, more reliable and more effective than others.
One of the most effective ways to share information is via connected computer systems, which ensure that health and care professionals have access to the information they need, when they need it, so that they can provide the best possible care. As a result health and care staff working in south east London - Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark – now have better and more complete access to information via their electronic computer systems. This means that no matter where you receive care in south east London, the staff looking after you will have more up to date information about you. For example, if you live in Lewisham but are receiving treatment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – your records are immediately available to the staff looking after you in Lewisham and at the hospital. Developing these electronic connections is now a firm part of the vision for South East London and across London, to ensure we can provide the best possible care.
How does this help with my care?
- Reduces delays in your care and treatment
- Staff can spend more time on your care, rather doing than administrative tasks
- Better quality and safety of care
- Care and treatment you need can be given earlier and closer to home - this stops your condition getting any worse and avoids hospital admissions
- Care is more joined up so you won’t have to tell your story to lots of different professionals
- Transfer of care between services is smoother
- Reduces unnecessary appointments, tests and associated costs
- Your confidential health records are available to care professionals via a secure online portal rather than relying on post, fax and email
Find out more about information the information sharing which supports your individual direct care please click here.
Uses of information beyond individual direct care and population health
In addition to the information that is shared for individual direct care, health and care professionals and service leads from across south east London are collaborating with others across London to create a data service which will help with the planning of people’s care and the design of new services. These capabilities will improve professionals ability to predict illness and disease, allow services to manage demand and capacity, ensure that resources are centred on the right need areas and much more. It will also help to advance research into new health and care services and medical advances such as drugs and new treatments.
Care professionals will be able to work together even more closely on designing and delivering better joined up care to the whole population and identify those most at risk of illness or rising need. The video below helps to explain some of the benefits of such an approach:
How does this help with my care?
- Helps care services and professionals to target the right people with the right support
- Reduces duplication and waste by helping co-ordinate peoples care and plan
- Supports advancements in the care and treatments being provided
- Supports innovation
- Helps professionals to reduce inequalities and spot gaps in care, reducing the risk that people’s needs will be missed or deteriorate
- Helps the whole health and care system to work more closely together to design the right services for the future
Consultation and deliberation
To help health and care services and leaders across London ensure that they are taking forward the right changes, which will benefit the people who live in the capital, there has recently been a significant public deliberation and engagement process. The outcomes of this process, culminating in 2 full weekends of debate and discussion, were very positive. It showed a significant amount of public support for all types of appropriate information sharing and use, as outlined above.
The report and conclusions can be found here and will continue to be built on as things progress.
- Film (1): You said, we did: using public recommendations to shape policy for using health and care data
- Film (2): How is joined-up data helping to transform London’s health and care services?
- Responding to the Coronavirus
Information governance and data protection
South East London also take information governance, uses of information and access by care professionals and staff very seriously and have controls in place to monitor and manage every aspect of the work being undertaken. This includes a Data Usage Committee, which has citizen and health and social care professional representation and manages all access to the available data and information.
People also have the ability to express their views as to how their information is used and can find out more information by talking to their health or care professional or finding more information at digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out
Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL) is a partnership of health and social care providers and professionals who provide health and care services for people living in South East London, London, nationally and internationally. You can find out more about how we use, share and store your information here.
COVID-19 data sharing for health and social care in South East London
The COVID-19 pandemic is placing additional demands on NHS, health and care services across the UK. As such health and care organisations and professionals across South East London, along with partners from across London, are seeking to improve the sharing of information they hold to ensure they are as prepared as possible and can monitor and manage additional demand and activities. This is supporting by the notice issued by the Secretary of State for health and social care under regulation 3 of The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002, which allows the processing of Confidential Patient Information (CPI) in relation to communicable diseases and other threats to public health.
This provides a legal basis for processing and sharing of information for very specific purposes related to the COVID pandemic and associated winter issues i.e. Flu, that will further impact it. This specific data sharing work, to support the delivery and planning of care during the Pandemic, is for a limited period to the 31st March 2021, unless the notice is extended by the Secretary of State.