Access to Information

Information given to the surgery by patients may be recorded and could be shared with other organisations in order to provide patient care. It might also be used to support clinical Audit and other work to monitor the quality of care provided.

Patients have the right to object to information they provide in confidence being disclosed to a third party in a form that identifies them, even if that third party is someone who might provide essential healthcare.

Patients have the right to see their medical records. Where copies of records are requested, a fee will be charged in accordance with the Act. Please contact your Patient Services Manager for further information.

Freedom Of Information

The Crawley Down Health Centre conforms to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. A publication scheme has been produced in accordance with the Act, a copy of which can be obtained by writing to: Freedom of information, NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch. B97 9PT or by email to:

Summary Care Record (SCR)

We are required to supply your personal and confidential medical Information to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). This information will be taken from the practice in a form that can identify you. The Practice has no choice but to allow the HSCIC to extract this information. However, individual patients can instruct their Practice to stop the transfer of their data. For more information on the reasons for this data extract and how to opt out of sending your confidential information: see below.

There are changes occurring in how we protect the confidential and personal information that we record in your medical records. The changes make it a legal obligation for us to share your information (see leaflet for details (PDF, 85KB)). The proposed benefits of sharing identifiable data are to help to plan and monitor effective patient services, especially where patients receive care from several different organisations.

We feel it is vital that you, as our patient, are made aware of these changes. A leaflet has been produced to help you understand what currently happens to information you share with your health professional and how that information may be used outside of your direct care. 

The official NHS England poster, NHS England information leaflet and NHS England FAQ are available from the NHS England website.

A Summary Care Record is an electronic record that's stored at a central location. As the name suggests, the record will not contain detailed information about your medical history, but will only contain important health information, such as:

  • whether you're taking any prescription medication 
  • whether you have any allergies
  • whether you've previously had a bad reaction to any medication 

Access to your Summary Care Record will be strictly controlled. The only people who can see the information will be healthcare staff directly involved in your care who have a special smartcard and access number (like a chip-and-pin credit card).

Healthcare staff will ask your permission every time they need to look at your Summary Care Record. If they cannot ask you, e.g. because you're unconscious, healthcare staff may look at your record without asking you. If they have to do this, they will make a note on your record.

You have a choice.  If you are happy for your information to be uploaded then you do not have to do anything.  If you have any concerns or you decide that you would like to prevent your information from being used in this way, you can complete an Opt Out Form and return it to the surgery signed. More information can be found by clicking here.

If you change your mind later, you can always use the form to opt back in.

Please be aware that if you chose to opt out of SCR, this does not opt you out of the or the Enhanced Data Sharing Model (eDSM), you must request that separately. How information about you helps us to provide better care

Important information about your health records. You, and everyone who lives with you, should read this carefully. It is important that everyone knows how we share, protect and use information about their health.  You have a choice.


We want to improve the quality of care and health services for all. By using information about the care you have received, those involved in providing care and health services can see how well they are doing, and where improvements need to be made.

NHS organisations share information about the care you receive with those who plan health and social care services, as well as with approved researchers and organisations outside the NHS, if this will benefit patient care. As a patient, you may receive care and treatment from a number of places such as your GP practice, hospitals and community services. By bringing this information together from all the different places, we can compare the care provided in one area with the care provided in another, so we can see what worked best. We will use information such as your postcode and NHS number to link your records from these different places. Records are linked in a secure system so your identity is protected. Details that could identify you will be removed before your information is made available to others, such as those planning NHS services and approved researchers.

We sometimes release confidential information to approved researchers, if this is allowed by law and meets the strict rules that are in place to protect your privacy.

What are the benefits of sharing my information?

Sharing information about the care you have received helps us understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided.  It also helps researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to different treatments, and the effectiveness of different services.  Your choice will not affect the care you receive.

Information will also help us to:

  • find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
  • make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of local patients
  • understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who plan care can provide preventative services
  • improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
  • guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and care of all patients
  • identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
  • make sure that NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide.

What will we do with the information?

We will only use the minimum information needed to improve patient care and services.

We are very careful with the information and we follow strict rules about how it is stored and used, and have a thorough process that must be followed before any information can be shared. When we share information we will make sure we do so in line with the law, national guidance and best practice. Information that we publish will never identify a particular person.

We have explained how useful information about you is, and the steps that we take to protect your privacy. However, you may want to prevent confidential information about you from being shared or used for any purpose other than providing your care (except in special circumstances allowed by law, such as when there is a public-health emergency).

If you do not want information that identifies you to be shared outside your GP practice, please ask the practice to make a note of this in your medical record. This note will prevent your confidential information from being used other than in special circumstances.  Information from other places where you receive care, such as hospitals and community services, is collected nationally.

You should also let your GP practice know if you want to prevent the information from those places being shared.  The practice will make a separate note of this in your medical record.  You may have already asked for information about you not to be shared with others, such as your medical record being shared for your care. You still need to let your GP practice know if you have concerns about your information being shared for the purposes described in this leaflet.

Do I need to do anything?

If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign. And you can change your mind at any time.  If you have any questions or are not happy for information about you to be shared, speak to your GP practice.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the NHS Choices website at: for more information, a list of common questions, or another format of this leaflet.

Speak to staff at your GP practice.

Call our dedicated patient information line on: 0300 456 3531

This line also offers translation and text phone services.

More details about how we look after confidential information and how it may be used can be found on the website at:

To opt out now click here (PDF, 64KB).

Enhanced Data Sharing Model (eDSM) Patient Information

If you are a registered patient you will have an electronic medical record held on our secure clinical system.  A facility is now available whereby your record can be shared between clinicians and others, in different care settings, who are involved with your care.  There are strict rules about sharing and you will be asked by each provider of care to consent to “sharing in” and “sharing out”.  If you consent your care record held by your GP practice or medical service will be shared with other medical services involved in your care (such as district nursing, health visiting, physiotherapy, podiatry, Out of Hours (OOH) providers in our area etc.  You will get asked about “sharing in” and “sharing out” just once per provider.  You have a choice to say yes or no and can change your mind at a later day too. 

Please be aware that if you chose to opt out of eDSM, this does not opt you out of the or the Summary Care Record (SCR), you must request that separately.

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

The HSCIC is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care. It is an executive non-departmental public body that is sponsored by the Department of Health. They have a useful website which talks through the technical and legal requirements of models like the Summary Care Record, and eDSM.  Further information can be found here

If you wish to speak to them you can get details on how to do that via this link

Access To Medical Records

For routine Audit purposes, representatives of the Primary Care Trust will be required to look at patients’ medical records. The auditors may not be medically qualified but all are bound by their contract of employment to respect confidentiality. However, if you do not wish your notes to be used in this way, please inform us at the front desk and your notes will be annotated accordingly. Insurance Companies and Solicitors will ask for access to your medical records in certain circumstances, eg mortgage applications and accidents. We will only release this information if you have signed a medical records release form.

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