Frequently asked questions

Your local health and social care organisations have a duty to keep complete, accurate and up-to-date information about your care so that you can receive the best possible support. When appropriate they also share information with other professionals that are supporting you, which could include GPs, hospital-based specialists, social workers, nurses, psychologists and health visitors. To support this a new process has been put in place in Northamptonshire, which electronically joins up your care records, at the point of care, from your local hospital, GP practices and community services. This is called the Northamptonshire Care Record (NCR).

Previously patient information and care records will have been shared via traditional methods such as secure post, fax or email, which can be slow and, at times, unreliable. In future, professionals will use the Northamptonshire Care Record to view your details automatically through the computer systems they have access to already, allowing better decision-making and care to be provided. Information is only shared when needed to ensure your care and treatment is safer, easier and faster. Information is only accessed by those people directly involved in your care, for example by a hospital doctor or your GP, who would be able to see prescribed medications or treatment you are receiving.

The Northamptonshire Care Record will contain up-to-date and relevant care information about you, at the time you are speaking to the care professional.  Examples of information that is shared include:

  • Your name, address and NHS number to help identify you correctly
  • Details of people involved in your care, appointments and visits
  • Medicines you have been prescribed and details of medication reactions and allergies
  • Test results, referrals, clinic letters and discharge information to ensure people caring for you have all the information they need to treat you

Certain sensitive information is never shared, for example sexual health information.

To provide the best treatment and support care professionals need access to the most up-to-date information about you in one place. This information can be from a range of services including hospitals, community services and your GP practice. Sharing information between these services will allow those that are caring for you, especially when more than one professional is involved, to make better joined-up decisions and work with you more effectively. Above all, professionals involved in your care will have access to the same information which will mean less repetition, as well as faster and safer care and treatment. For example, if you go into hospital in an emergency, the person treating you will know what medication your GP has prescribed for you. It also means that when you visit your GP, they will be able to see what treatments or tests you have received in hospital.

Only professionals who are directly supporting your care will have access to your care record and wherever possible they will inform you that they are accessing your care record. This may not be possible every time (in an emergency, for example); however, each time a person accesses your information there will be a clear record or audit of it. You are able to ask for further information from your care professional or to opt-out of sharing your information at any time.

The Northamptonshire Care Record system is hosted by NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on behalf of the other NHS and social care organisations in our county which make up Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership. It is overseen by senior managers and clinicians across all partner organisations.

The following organisations are participating in the Northamptonshire Care Record:

  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northamptonshire GP practices
  • Northamptonshire County Council (adult and child social services)
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

The programme is supported by:

  • NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

There are rules in place to make sure that only those directly involved in your care will use the Northamptonshire Care Record to view information about you, and only on a ‘need to know’ basis. Also, certain sensitive information is never shared, for example sexual health information. Where possible a care professional will inform you that they are using the Northamptonshire Care Record to access your details. This will ensure you are fully aware and given the opportunity to find out more information about the Northamptonshire Care Record.

Your care information will always be updated locally by the services and professionals that are supporting you and these updates will be present in your care record the next time it is viewed.

Your information can only be accessed over a secure network and by those who are directly involved in your care. By law, people working in or on behalf of the NHS or social care departments or as part of NHS healthcare teams must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe.

Whenever possible, professionals will inform you that they are accessing your care record. This may not be possible every time, for example in an emergency. However, each time a person accesses your information there is a clear record of it and information on this can be provided to you by your GP. Only staff members who are directly supporting your care will have access to your care record.

Yes, you can choose not to share your information when you register with your GP practice or at any time when speaking to those involved in your care or those who want to view your care record. To find out more information, or if you would prefer your information not to be shared, please talk to your GP or care professional.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you can request access to any information that an organisation holds about you, including electronic and paper records. You may also be able to access your own records electronically. If you wish to do this please contact the relevant organisation, for example: your registered GP practice or the organisation providing your care.

The Northamptonshire Care Record provides a more detailed view of your health, care and treatment records from your local health and social care organisations in Northamptonshire. The Summary Care Record is used nationally and contains important information from the record held by your GP practice. It includes details of any medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have previously experienced. The Summary Care Record also includes your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS number to help identify you correctly. If you already opted out of the Summary Care Record you will still need to let us know if you want to opt out of letting health and care professionals use the Northamptonshire Care Record to access information about you when they treat you.

GPs, nurses and social workers work closely together to ensure local people get the best possible care and support. Although the Northamptonshire Care Record will not contain all of your social care information it is likely to contain some that is relevant to your care, treatment or support. This may include information about a hospital stay, hospital discharge or support you are receiving in the community. Our ambition in the future is to include more social care information to further support and completely join up your care. We will provide you with more information about this in the future.

No, the Northamptonshire Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care, treatment and support by professionals involved in your care.

No, the Northamptonshire Care Record is only ever used for direct patient care, treatment and support by professionals involved in your care.

The Northamptonshire Care Record allows professionals involved in your care to view your care information and improve the services they provide. The system is growing and over time will include your care records held by organisations from surrounding areas. In the meantime, organisations and professionals will still continue to share information in other ways, which may take a little more time.

The system will begin to go live at the end of 2020 and this process will continue on a phased basis through 2021. If you require further information or would like to discuss the Northamptonshire Care Record please talk to your GP or care professional in the first instance.

No, your personal information will never be shared with or sold to external or private organisations including research or insurance companies.

Please contact your care provider’s Data Protection Officer to raise your concerns.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, the data that’s shared in the Northamptonshire Care Record is being shared for the purposes of direct care. This means that consent from the patient or service user is not needed to create a care record.

All patients registered at that GP practice can request that their GP shares their information with other health and care professionals via the Northamptonshire Care Record.