Great North Care Record

What is the Great North Care Record?

Great North Care Record gives the staff caring for you a more complete picture of your medical history. It does this by making information held about you in different places such as your GP practice or local hospital available to the staff who are looking after you. Being able to access this information helps make your care safer

How Does it Work?

Your GP, local hospital, social care, community or mental health team all hold different electronic records about you. This means your complete health and care record is like a jigsaw puzzle, with the pieces held in different places. This is probably why you have been asked the same questions over and again by different staff. We know it can be frustrating having to repeat the same information.

The Great North Care Record joins the pieces of the puzzle together and allows health and care professionals to see a more complete picture. Reducing the need for you to repeat information.

How Does This Help me?

Health and care staff have more time to provide you with better, safer careInformation about you is available quicklyYou will be asked to repeat less information

What Kind of Information is Made Available?

The type of information viewed includes details like:

  • Problems​
  • Diagnosis​
  • Procedures​
  • Allergies​
  • Vital signs
  • Medications​
  • Lab Results
  • Immunisations​
  • Radiology / scans​
  • Clinical correspondence​
  • Appointments​
  • Physical examination​
  • Family history​
  • Visits​
  • Social history​
  • Microbiology​

Cellular pathology​

Are all NHS and Social Care Organisations in the North East and North Cumbria Able to Access my Information?

Staff working in hospitals, GPs, mental health, out of hours, ambulance and adult social care in our region are able to access the Great North Care Record.

How do I know my Records are Kept Safe?

By law, everyone working in, or on behalf of the NHS and social care, must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe. The Great North Care Record uses a secure system that meets NHS and social care security standards. The system keeps an audit trail including the time and date when your record is accessed. If you have access to your patient record through a GP app you will be able to see this information. You can also contact our helpline and they can check. The laws on data protection are clear and we take them very seriously. Organisations who use the Great North Care Record are responsible for ensuring only the right people access your record and have strict policies and protocols in place to prevent inappropriate access.

Who can Amend or add Information to my Great North Care Record?

Great North Care Record provides ‘view only’ access to your medical record. There is no change to current practice. Your records can only be amended within local GP, social care or hospital systems. The Great North Care Record simply displays this information more widely across the health and social care system to staff who are caring for you.

Can anyone see my records?

No, your records are confidential. They can only be lawfully looked at by staff who are directly involved in your care. Doctors, nurses and other care staff rely on good communication with their patients – and with each other – to provide the best care possible. Your information isn’t available to anyone who doesn’t need it to provide treatment, care and support to you. Your details are kept safe and won’t be made public, passed on to a third party who is not directly involved in your care, used for advertising or sold

Can I Access my Medical Records?

Yes. The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, on computer and in certain manual records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your health and social care records. If you want to see or receive a copy of your records speak to a member of staff, or your care providers who will be able to help you. You can also access your GP record using a number of different apps, including the NHS App.

What can I do if I Have a Question or a Concern About the Great North Care Record?

Contact our helpline on: 0344 811 9587 or email: [email protected] for more information. The helpline is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

What if I don’t Want my Information to be Available on the Great North Care Record?

Using the Great North Care Record makes it easier for us to provide the best care and support for you and provides you with a better experience. Your record is automatically available for staff involved in your care to access. If you would prefer your record not to be made available please contact us on 0344 811 9587 or email [email protected], or visit our opt out page for more information.

Do Staff Have to ask my Permission to Look at my Records?

When the Great North Care Record was first introduced, staff were required to ask patients, where possible, for consent to access their record. Since the Great North Care Record began in 2016, changes to data protection regulations and legislation have meant that the approach to this has changed.

Under the new laws, data recorded about patients can lawfully be shared without the patient’s permission. We are required to be open and honest about how data is used and shared and provide an easy way for people to opt out if they would prefer.

There are also practical challenges with asking patient’s when they are receiving treatment. For many healthcare staff, they might want to review a patient’s history before they meet that patient – such as before an out-patient appointment. Having access to more information about them, helps them to be more informed and ask the right questions. This helps makes care safer. We wrote a blog in November 2019 which explains more about why we changed this policy.

How Have you Involved Patients in How the Great North Care Record has Been Developed?

We are committed to listening to the views of people living in our region. We commissioned two large pieces of research to understand how patients feel about their healthcare record being shared. One was a YouGov poll of 800 local people, the other was 25 focus groups held around the region to get into the details and hear about people’s ideas, concerns and issues. Both reports were commissioned and analysed independently by researchers at Teesside and Newcastle Universities.

How Will the Great North Care Record Develop in the Future?

We are building a Public Engagement Platform which will essentially be an app or website where patients can access their own Great North Care Record. Work on this will begin in 2020.