Full access to the GP electronic health record is better than prospective access when responsibly shared

Ainsdale Medical Centres goes much further and safely by responsibly sharing the information we have about you. We have been providing full access to the GP electronic health record since 2004, including prospective and retrospective access through an explicit consent process.

The late Ingrid Brindle talking about a patient perspective on shared electronic health records at The Kings Fund in 2014
at Realising the potential of primary care -The role of general practice

We encourage you to sign up for full access to the records and understanding and then use the resources found on this website that signpost you to trusted information to help you get the best from the practice. We try to write in the records in a way that helps you to understand them and offer advice and support if you find errors or information that is missing, as well as making it easy for you to contact the surgery if you need more help.

Ainsdale Medical Centre formally completed its Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) for the NHS England Accelerated Access Programme on 24th October 2023 following a meeting of the Partners and Practice manager. The meeting lasted 1 hour, where we discussed the scenarios and potential risks and considered mitigations that could help reduce the risk. Following this, we determined a course of action that best fits the needs of our patient population whilst remaining within the law.

It was a useful exercise to understand the risks and has led to a 4-point plan for what we do next, including:

  • updating our practice website to inform patients what we have done,
  • invite all patients to register for full records access and understanding through our explicit consent process.
  • review our processes for redaction to ensure all staff (clinical and admin) are aware of what we should do when we see letters.
  • share our DPIA with others so that all are aware we have done this and encourage other GP practices to go through a similar exercise before 31st October.