Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cheshire Care Record?

The Cheshire Care Record is a secure virtual health and social care record. It pulls key information from several different health and social care records and stores it in one combined record. This enables health and social care professionals to find all the key information for your care in one place.

At the moment, every health and social care organisation that you use has a different set of records for you. These records may duplicate information or one record might hold information about your treatment, care and support that another one doesn’t. To provide the best care to you as a service user, it is essential that health and social care professionals have access to the most up-to-date information.

 

Why do you need to share my information?

To provide the best treatment, care and support to you as a patient or service user it is essential that health and social care professionals have access to the most up-to-date information. Information is already shared between health and social care organisations by phone and through paper records. The Cheshire Care Record allows this sharing process to happen more efficiently, enabling better care for you.

What if I don't want my data to be shared?

If you inform your GP that you do not want your data to be shared you can ‘opt out’ and a Cheshire Care Record will not be created for you.  However, once you have done this the only way to change this is to go back to your GP to ask them to ‘opt’ you back in.

How do I give consent?

The first time that a health or social care worker tries to access your record, the system will require them to complete a consent screen to indicate if you have given them consent to view the record, unless you have already ‘opted out’ in which case, a system message states: “The patient has declined to have an electronic shared record.”

Once you have given consent, other health and social care workers involved in your care will be able to access the record without having to ask for your consent again. Of course, this only allows access to staff that you are registered with and are actively treating you, so for example your GP can only view patients registered at their practice. If you just want to give consent for the professional seeing you that day, you can opt to consent for 24 hours only. If you change your mind and no longer want your record to be viewed, you can inform your GP and the record will be blocked. The next time a health or social care professional tries to access the record, the system will indicate that the patient has not given consent to view the record.

What if I don’t even want my data to be held on the system?

If you don’t want your data to be sent to the Cheshire Care Record then you need to notify your GP practice. The data is refreshed every night and they will enter an ‘opt out’ code against your record. Remember, if the data is sent to the Cheshire Care Record, it is held securely and cannot be viewed without your permission, but if you have asked for your data to be withheld but then change your mind, perhaps because of an emergency attendance at A&E, your record won’t be there to be viewed.

Who can amend or add information to my Cheshire Care Record?

The record is a view only system, which draws information from several health and social care systems. Information cannot be added or amended on the Cheshire Care Record. Health and social care professional can still update your records within their own systems; any changes made in these systems will be reflected in information in your Cheshire Care Record within 24 hours.

If I receive treatment outside the Cheshire area, can health and social care professionals see my record?

No. The Cheshire Care Record is only available to the NHS and social care organisations in Cheshire that have signed up to the system. However there is a separate national project called the Summary Care Record.

As the name suggests, the Summary Care Record does not contain detailed information about a patient’s medical history, but contains a summary of important health information. More information about the Summary Care Record can be found in our Sharing Health Records leaflet or at www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk

What if I have not given consent but you need to access my record?

A function does exist to allow access to the Cheshire Care Record when there is an immediate need to access the system and there is no possibility of asking consent from the patient or a relative and the patient has not previously given consent.

An example of where this might be applicable will be in the Emergency Department, where the patient is unable to give consent (if they are unconscious). The legitimate access is secured by the fact that the patient needs immediate treatment, and the information held in the record might be of use to the team treating them for life sustaining purposes.

The clinician may take the decision to access the record to find out about any allergies or pre-existing conditions. If you have previously asked that your record is not viewed, the user will receive a message on the system informing them that the patient has not consented to the view and they will not be able to see your data.

Can I view a copy of the information held about me?

The system is a simple upload of information held by individual organisations and therefore patients should contact their care provider to get a copy of the records they hold about them.

The contact details for each organisation are:

Or if you would just like to see what is held on your shared record you can request this by ringing 01244 362741.

How do I know who has accessed my record?

The system provides a full audit trail of who has accessed the system. Each participating organisation will review their audit reports regularly to see who has looked at their patients’ records, and which records their staff are reviewing to ensure that all access is for legitimate reasons.

You can ask any of the staff who are providing your care to find out who has accessed your Cheshire Care Record and they can request an audit report to show all staff who have accessed your record, when and where. This may take a couple of days and could be sent to you or picked up at your next visit.

Staff can only access records for patients that are registered on their own clinical or social care system. They have no ability to search for any patients across the whole of Cheshire.

Inappropriate access of patient data will be taken extremely seriously as it constitutes a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 and/or the Computer Misuse Act 1990. It will be reported as a serious incident and investigated appropriately. Disciplinary procedures should be enacted.

Can I access my Cheshire Care Record?

We are conscious that there is a demand from patients for a patient portal and have already identified this within our future scope, but at the moment the Cheshire Care Record is only available to registered Health and Social Care users in Cheshire.

Patients have the right under The Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request access to any information that an organisation holds about them. This includes copies of paper, electronic and hybrid patient health records.

If you wish to request a copy of your Cheshire Care Record please contact your GP.

Inappropriate access of patient data will be taken extremely seriously as it constitutes a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 and/or the Computer Misuse Act 1990. It will be reported as a serious incident and investigated appropriately. Disciplinary procedures should be enacted.

When will the Cheshire Care Record be available?

The Cheshire Care Record is available now. Although it launched early in 2016, regular use by staff will be a gradual process as all are made aware of the record, and start to incorporate it into their working day.

How is my data protected?

Your data is held by the Countess of Chester in a secure environment which can only be accessed via the NHS secure network. The security of this is tested every year by expert, independent specialists who attempt to access the system, so that they can verify that the system is as secure as possible.

Staff access is limited to the patients that are registered with them via their login controls so that they cannot search for patients they are not treating.

Only qualified staff that are registered within their profession, such as doctors, nurses and social workers are allowed access. This ensures that all staff are trained in data protection and patient confidentiality and are subject to disciplinary procedures if they break the code of conduct.

Information Governance

The Cheshire Care Record has an Information Governance Group who are responsible for overseeing the security and data protection.

The membership of this group is the Caldicott Guardians from each participating partner and patient representatives. This group are responsible for overseeing who can input data into the Cheshire Care Record, who is allowed to view it and the controls that are put in place around this. Every participating partner has to sign a data sharing agreement which governs their conduct.

How can I participate in the Cheshire Care Record?

You can actively go to your GP practice and request that they record your consent for any professionals involved in your care to access the Cheshire Care Record. This means that when you are with other care professional staff, you can inform them that your consent is already in place should they wish to view the Cheshire Care Record.

Conversely, you can ask your GP to block your Cheshire Care Record so that it cannot be viewed but be careful; if you do this no one will be able to access it, not even in an emergency if you are unconscious. The only way to unblock this is for you to request the change back again with your GP.

 

What do I do if I would like to make a complaint about improper use of my record?

Please contact the care provider directly to register a complaint about alleged improper use by their staff.