As times change, so too does the structure of the NHS, at the moment there are a myriad of organisations that combine to form the institution as a whole. This page will include the news from these bodies that is most relevant to our patients. If you wish to learn more about the structure of the NHS in its entirety, this video is a good place to start. It is the most accessible overview we could find:
The Care Quality Commission (independent regulator of health and adult social care in England) will be making an impromptu visit to the surgery in the next few weeks. As part of their assessment they may wish to speak with patients, regarding their perspectives on the quality of care provided.
If you want to find out more about this body of the health service or to contact them direct, their telephone number and Internet address are as follows:
Information and the Health Protection Agency…
The Health Protection Agency is a nationwide organisation that stands to safeguard the public from significant threats to individual and collective health; they collect certain information to aide in the professional monitoring of (for example) infectious, radiological, chemical and environmental hazards to the health of the general population.
The most common form of data collection from primary care is facilitated by the ‘General Practice Extraction Service’ or ‘GPES’ ( http://www.hscic.gov.uk/gpes ). Following “anonymisation” (removal of all personal details) information is examined for the patterns and trends of disease, precautions and services are then implemented accordingly.
Some instances of serious infection necessitate the use of personal patient information to ensure a rapid and effective response to the problem at hand. These are cases that require sufferers and potential sufferers to be known so that any possibility of a worsening situation can be quelled immediately. Examples include outbreaks of Salmonella and Meningococcal Meningitis.
Doctors are required by law to report all cases of these “Notifiable Diseases”.
Here at the practice all personal information is treated with the strictest of confidence. If there were a need for you to be identified (in extenuating circumstances such as those outlined above) you would be informed beforehand.
The National Spine is a clinical resource (entirely separate from GPES) that holds a basic record of medical conditions and current medications for all patients of the NHS (unless a patient ‘opts out’). It can make available these records to a hospital anywhere in the country. The system ensures that all relevant clinical data is made immediately available if a patient requires urgent treatment whilst away from home.
None of the private conversations or consultations you have with your GP are made available; only restricted information regarding medical conditions.