All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they
have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care
Record gives health and care professionals, away from your usual GP practice,
access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of
prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.

Your Summary Care Record contains basic information about allergies and
medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.
Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, have
previously agreed to have Additional Information shared as part of their
Summary Care Record. This additional information includes information about
significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care
plan information and immunisations.

The only people who might see your Summary Care Record are registered and
regulated healthcare professionals, for example doctors, nurses, paramedics,
pharmacists and staff working under their direct supervision. Your Summary
Care record will only be accessed so a healthcare professional can give you
individual care. Staff working for organisations that do not provide direct care
are not able to view your Summary Care Record.

When you are treated away from your usual doctor’s surgery, the health care
staff there can’t see your GP medical records. Looking at your SCR can speed
up your care and make sure you are given the right medicines and treatment.
Before accessing a Summary Care Record healthcare staff will always ask your
permission to view it, unless it is a medical emergency and you are unable to
give permission.

Opting out
Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS

The purpose of SCR is to improve the care that you receive, however, if you
don’t want to have an SCR you have the option to opt out. If this is your
preference please inform your GP or fill in an SCR patient consent preferences
form and return it to your GP practice.

Regardless of your past decisions about your Summary Care Record consent
preferences, you can change your mind at any time. You can choose any of the
following options:

1. To have a Summary Care Record with Additional Information shared.
This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and
care professionals will be able to see a enriched Summary Care Record if
they need to provide you with direct care.

2. To have a Summary Care Record with core information only. This means
that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care
professionals will be able to see information about allergies and
medications only in your Summary Care Record if they need to provide
you with direct care.

3. To opt-out of having a Summary Care Record altogether. This means that
you do not want any information shared with other authorised,
registered and regulated health and care professionals involved in your
direct care, including in an emergency.

To make these changes, you should inform your GP practice or complete
the SCR patient consent preferences form and return it to your GP practice.

How confidential patient information is used

The NHS collects confidential patient information from:

 all NHS organisations, trusts and local authorities (including GP
 private organisations, such as private hospitals providing NHS funded
Research bodies and organisations can request access to this information. This
 university researchers
 hospital researchers
 medical royal colleges
 pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments
Who cannot use confidential patient information
Access to confidential patient information will not be given for:
 marketing purposes
 insurance purposes
(unless you request this)
Setting or changing an opt-out choice

The national data opt-out allows a patient to choose if they do not want their
confidential patient information to be used for purposes beyond their
individual care and treatment – for research and planning. Patients, or people
acting for them by proxy, have control over setting or changing their own optout choice, and can change their mind at any time. In most cases health and
care staff won’t be involved – but it’s helpful to understand how the process
works so you can tell patients where to find out more about their choices.
Read more about how patients can opt out, including special arrangements for
people in secure settings.

Find a range of resources you can use to inform patients about their opt-out

Which data disclosures do national data opt-outs apply to?
National data opt-outs apply to a disclosure when an organisation, for example
a research body, confirms they have approval from the Confidentiality Advisory
Group (CAG) for the disclosure of confidential patient information held by
another organisation responsible for the data (the data controller) such as an
NHS Trust.

The CAG approval is also known as a section 251 approval and refers to section
251 of the National Health Service Act 2006 and its current Regulations, the
Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. The NHS Act
2006 and the Regulations enable the common law duty of confidentiality to be
temporarily lifted so that confidential patient information can be disclosed
without the data controller being in breach of the common law duty of

In practice, this means that the organisation responsible for the information
(the data controller) can, if they wish, disclose the information to the data
applicant, for example a research body, without being in breach of the
common law duty of confidentiality. To be clear – it is only in these cases where
opt-outs apply.

In certain cases it has been agreed that the National Data Opt-Out should not
be applied to programmes which have section 251 approval. More information
on these can be found at paragraphs 7 and 8 below and a list of the programmes for which the NDOO should not be applied to is available. This list
is subject to change so please ensure you check the most up to date version.
The organisation requesting the data can also inform you that the National
Data Opt-Out does not apply.

Read more information about CAG and the section 251 approvals process on
the Health Research Authority (HRA) website.

3. Do you have explicit consent for the use or disclosure?
If a patient has agreed to a specific use of data, after being fully informed, then
the national data opt-out does not apply. Even patients who have registered a
national data opt-out can agree to take part in a specific research project or
clinical trial, by giving their explicit consent.

Read more in 6.1: Consent and 7.4: Consent for consent for more details on
consent and finding participants for research projects, in the operational policy
guidance document.

Declaring compliance
If you have worked out that the national data opt-out policy applies to your
change of use or disclosure of data, you need to apply national data opt-outs
by removing the records of anyone who has an opt-out registered before you
use or disclose the information.

Where a patient has a national data opt-out in place alongside any other form
of opt-out(s) the other opt-out(s) must still be applied in accordance with the
policy for each specific opt-out.

See 8: Applying the national data opt-out in the national data opt-out
operational policy guidance for more information.
Even if you have no current uses or disclosures that fall into scope, in order to
declare compliance you still need to amend your procedures to consider the
national data opt-out policy for future uses and disclosures.
Follow our compliance implementation guide to find out how to set up
the Check for national data opt-outs service, and to achieve and declare

Please see here for the consent form