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GPs go forth

GPs should use repeat prescriptions to inform patients about, says new guidance

GPs should include information about the Government’s extractions programme in patient’s repeat prescriptions and through patient newsletters, new guidance has recommended.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre guidance, issued to practices last week, said that GPs must be ‘proactive’ in informing patients about the controversial programme, which will involve patient data being sent to various healthcare bodies.

It also reminded practices that they are legally required to disclose data to the HSCIC for the programme unless an individual patient has objected.

The HSCIC listed a series of ways that GPs can inform patients about the programme, including providing information to patients at reception or by clinical staff, or in visible locations such as the waiting area and washrooms.

Another suggestion was to ‘include information with repeat prescriptions’, while it also recommended healthcare staff ‘respond to queries raised by patients during consultations’ and ‘use existing communication channels such as GP practice newsletters to provide information’.

It added: ‘The Information Commissioner’s Office has been clear that for GP practices to meet their fair processing obligations they need to be proactive in raising awareness with their patients.

‘It is important that GP practices understand that the materials they have been provided with are actively communicated to patients and that patients can easily access the information.’

Earlier this month, NHS England backtracked on its insistence that GP practices were solely responsible for informing patients about the programme and announced a £2m publicity campaign on their plans to extract and share confidential data next year.

Readers' comments (12)

  • Any suggestions on the wording we should write on the prescriptions ?

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  • Neil Bhatia

    "Any suggestions on the wording we should write on the prescriptions ? "

    Cut'npaste from here.....

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  • Bye and thanks for all the fish

    C onfidentiality
    A t
    R isk
    E veryone
    D emand
    A utomatic
    T urndown
    A ccordingly

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  • So what about the centrally funded hotline for patients to ring to take the pressure off GPs. What is the numer, when will isn't be live and how long will it run for and why is there no mention of this in the letter from HSCIC & NHS England.

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  • This does not change the feeling that this whole process should be based on express consent rather than presumed consent, meaning that it should be an opt in system rather than an opt out system.

    Ministers have had to go the route of setting up a law to trump any ethical concerns, which in itself shows a lack of respect for the principals of confidential medicine.

    The government should be embarrassed with it's disrespect for patients dignity and privacy.

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  • We should make a stand together and contact our own GP's to refuse extraction of our own data and let the Daily Wail know we are doing it and why. Perhaps they might take up the cause and do something useful for a change.

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  • Sorry but that space is reserved for QoF reminders, that bit which is of vague medical value. isnt of my creation and hence not my problem.

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  • We will put a note in rpt script and also send a sms regarding same with patients to contact the HSIC website or the local MP and send it on Friday evening. Local MP is conservative which helps!
    We shall see how they manage unresourced work!

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  • NHS england is either thoroughly incompetent and not fit for purpose..or it knew exactly what it was doing by this sinister way of trying to secretly pass this disgraceful measure through without the essential consent of patients..which includes me and you.i personally am ok but many will not be and i have grave reservations firstly that the information is properly anonymised and secondly zero confidence in nhs englands ability to manage the information professionally.
    whoever was in charge of this pathetic disaster should be dismissed.
    end of.

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  • And now every household in the country is going to be written to in January to say what is going to happen with their data (no doubt there will be a line or two suggesting that if there are any concerns just to pop along to discuss it with your GP) ... During some of the busiest months of the year ... You couldn't conjure up this kind of centrally coordinated bad timing if you tried.

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