Concerns raised about sharing healthcare information - The Leamington Observer

Concerns raised about sharing healthcare information

Laura Kearns 18th Sep, 2017   0

CONCERNS have been raised about letters telling residents their health information will be shared.

In recent months households have been told their data will be shared between health and social care organisations unless they opt out at their GP surgery.

But South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (SWKONP) has voiced their concerns about the letters and say some people may still unwittingly allow providers to share their information.

They say wording used in the letter is confusing and that they many have been delivered with junk mail, leading some people to automatically throw it away.

Chairwoman Anna Pollert said: “We believe the letter was supposed to be sent to all Warwickshire households, but many people do not recollect receiving a copy.

“SWKONP can find no information about the organisation or the body responsible for the letter, and is concerned about the jargon used and the fact that the telephone number for queries is buried in the document and gives access to an answerphone only.

“SWKONP is particularly concerned that the letter arrived with junk mail. Many will have binned it without sorting through their mail.”

The Clinical Commissioning Group – which is responsible for GP services – say sharing details will improve healthcare.

A spokesman told the Observer: “The patient information sharing programme seeks to improve the care patients receive by ensuring those involved in their direct care can, with the patient’s explicit consent, access vital medical information from the patient record. The programme is a joint effort involving a number of local health and care organisations.

“Patients who do not wish to have their information shared at all are advised to speak with their medical practice. They can also decline when asked should they visit one of the participating organisations.

“It is vital that patients and the public are kept informed about such information sharing, and we will continue to review and improve the ways in which the programme communicates and engages with the public so that they are able to make informed decisions about sharing their information for the purpose of improving the care they receive.”

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