Digital access to patient records

To improve patient care, Moorfields will be using digital technology to access joint patient health records.

Health and care professionals have shared information on paper for many years, but switching to Health Information Exchange (HIE) digital technology will allow Moorfields and other trusts across London to access joint records more efficiently, leading to swifter and better care for patients. 

The information currently exists in different electronic health records or case management systems at other trusts and GP surgeries in and around London and will be brought together in a read-only view to complement existing digital records. Moorfields will join up the electronic health and care records of all adults and children across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington (north central London). 

This page provides further information on the changes, how the technology will be used to access records, what information will be accessed, and how it will benefit patients.

Benefits to patients  

  • Improved patient experience – patients will no longer have to repeat information or their medical history. Digital records will enable a more joined up approach for patient care across the health system.
  • The results of common tests (blood tests, for example) will be available to everyone involved in your care, regardless of where the test took place, reducing the need to repeat tests and delay care.
  • Improved care coordination – information sharing across organisational boundaries supports system-wide models of integrated care. Professionals from different organisations will be able to see where there are opportunities to improve care and ensure that you, and others like you, are getting the best care from the whole team. For example, if there is opportunity to improve diabetes care in your GP practice.
  • Improved staff experience – staff have more time to care for patients and are better informed to deliver safer care. 

Who will have access to my information?

Digital records will be accessed only by those who need to see your health and social care information to help inform and support patient care. This could include GPs, social workers, hospital clinicians, community health practitioners, mental health staff and other authorised members of the care team. Each healthcare professional will only be able to see the information relevant to their job. A social worker, for example, would see different parts of the record to a GP, for example.

Residents will not be able to view their own information as a result of this programme, however if you would like to see your health and care records, you can request this directly from your health and care organisations.

What information will be shared?

The following information will be available for care teams to see:

  • Most of your current health and care information, such as medication and allergies, the summary of your care from past hospital stays and future appointments will be included. This will include all your recent history which has been recorded on health and care services electronic systems. 
  • It will also include information from other organisations that provide NHS and local authority social care services. This will include mental health records and information from social care, hospices, community pharmacy and the voluntary sector. 
  • The health records of all adults and children will be joined up as well as adult social care information. We do not currently plan to include children’s social care records. 

What information will not be shared?

Restricted information including sexual health, fertility treatment, gender reassignment and information from service users who have opted out will not be accessible.  

Data from services at organisations that have chosen not to disclose in the HIE record is also omitted.  

Is my information safe? 

All care professionals with access to health and care information work under strict codes of conduct meaning they must respect privacy and keep all information safe. Failure to do so is a serious offence.

Information about you is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018/UK General Data Protection Regulation 2021. 

This requires that care professionals:

  • Can only see information they require to carry out their role in the delivery and management of care 
  • Must keep health and care records secure 
  • Have a duty of confidence towards your information 

What if I wish to opt out?

Patients and residents in and around London have already been informed of the changes, and the safeguards in place to protect their personal information. If you are happy for your information to be part of this joined up health and care record, then you don’t need to do anything. 

If you don’t want to be included, you need to take action. If you opt-out, your information will not be shared via the electronic joined-up record however it will continue to be shared by care organisations as it is now, by phone, email and on paper. 

Before opting out, please ensure that you have read this information carefully and understand what this means for you. If you choose to opt-out, you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits that the electronic joined-up record can bring you.

The care professionals looking after you won’t have your full history and most recent information available to them, and decisions about your care may take longer, even in emergency situations. Opting out will also make it harder for health and care professionals to proactively plan and manage your care and support your wellbeing. 

If you do opt out, you can change your mind and opt back in at any time. 

Last updated: 30th November 2023