The Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal (NHCP)
What is the NHCP?
At the moment, all health and care providers across Nottinghamshire hold individual paper and electronic records about patients. This may mean that patient information may not be available when and where patients need it to be, and they may end up repeating themselves when treated by different services.
The Nottinghamshire Health and Care Portal, or NHCP is a digital shared record viewing system that is secure and confidential. It contains essential patient/citizen information from the different health and care organisations across Nottinghamshire that provide our patient/citizens with their health and care services. It can only be accessed by those health and care professionals and personnel who support and provide direct care to our patient/citizens; this means we have the right information, provided to the right health and care staff across Nottinghamshire, at the right time to support the delivery of patient/citizen care. Having a more joined up and coordinated record improves the way information about patients is shared in order to deliver better care and make decisions more effectively.
It is proving invaluable to staff as is replacing the need for phone calls and or emails between organisations and replacing them with a secure route to the same information. This is resulting in staff saving time and being able to spend more time focusing on a individuals care.
What information is available in the NHCP at the moment?
Below is what is currently viewable in the NHCP however it doesn’t stop here. Its data is always expanding, with new exciting developments already planned for 2021/2022
FAQs for Patients
What information will be shared?
Below are some examples of the information that is included in the NHCP and why health and care staff find it beneficial to access it. For a full list of information shared please look on the NHCP Homepage.
- Address and contact details.
- Information on current and past medical problems – to enable health and care staff to make better decisions and treat your conditions better.
- Medications – so that health and care staff know what medications you are taking when making decisions about prescribing new ones (avoiding potentially dangerous combinations).
- Allergies – to ensure that you are not given any medication that you may be allergic to.
- Test results – to avoid having to repeat certain tests and speed up your treatment.
- Letters, referrals and discharge information – to make sure that health and care staff have all the information they need.
- Hospital admission and appointment details – to make sure other care providers can see who is involved in your care.
- Alerts – any crucial information that is needed to keep you safe.
Why do you need to share my information?
The NHCP will allow appropriate information to be shared between health and care providers who provide care to you. This will enable health and care staff coordinating or directly providing care to you to see the most up to date and complete information about you.
The sharing of this information already occurs in order to provide medical treatment and care. This is currently mainly done by paper and telephone which can cause delays in your treatment or care. The NHCP will share information securely and electronically which will also remove you having to repeat the same information to different health and care staff involved in your care.
What are the benefits of having an accessible shared care record?
- The most up to date information will be available for the health and care staff treating you to make the most effective decisions about your care.
- This will lead to more joined up and improved care. This is important if you have a long term condition so all the care team from across the different organisations can work better together in coordinating your care.
- Your information in the right place, at the right time to enable health and care staff to treat or care for you.
- Avoids having to repeat tests you may have already had done in another care setting.
- More time to spend on your care instead of requesting information from all the different organisations who may be involved in caring for you.
- Less need to repeat “your story” to numerous health and care professionals.
- Health and social care staff can work more jointly together to offer better coordinated care for patients who receive care across both organisations.
Who can see my record?
Only health or care staff involved in coordinating or directly providing your care will have access to your information in the NHCP. We will not share your information with any third party who is not providing you with care, treatment or support. Your information will not be used for any other purpose than healthcare/healthcare management.
Will I be informed?
When the NHCP is accessed by staff for the first time you will be informed that your record will be viewed.
You have a right to object to allowing the health and care staff to access your record and after any risks of not sharing your information has been explained these wishes will be recorded in your record for that occasion. If you wish to object to all staff viewing your record and do not wish for anyone to have access then email NHCP@nuh.nhs.uk or ring 0115 9709946.
Your rights/wishes will always be respected unless under exceptional circumstances. For instance, if you are seen in an emergency and were unable to give your permission (for instance if you were unconscious or very confused), health and care staff could access your record in your best interests.
Please be aware though that staff accessing the NHCP strive to provide you with the best possible care at all times. The NHCP provides staff with more information to help them make the best decisions when treating you. By opting out of the NHCP, clinical information from your GP and other health and social care providers will not be accessible for them to view, even in an emergency situation this opt out cannot be overridden. This means that clinicians treating you in an emergency may have to do so without all the information necessary to do this safely. The NHCP provides critical information on your medical history, medications and allergies. If clinicians cannot access this they have to rely on the limited information that may be available in your other records. This could mean, for example, that you are given medication you are allergic to or that clashes with other medication you are taking (bearing in mind in an emergency you may be seriously injured or so unwell that you are not be able to give us this information yourself). Opting out of the Portal also means that information needed for your direct care may need to be obtained over the telephone, by phone, fax or post, all of which may be less secure than the tightly controlled NHCP system.
How safe is my information?
By law all health and care staff have a duty of confidentiality to you, which means that they must respect your privacy and have a duty to keep your information confidential.
The NHCP is an Information system which is kept within a secure NHS environment. Only appropriate staff involved in your care will be able to look at your information. To help safeguard your privacy, the system records who has accessed your information and when. We take our obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) along with our duty of confidentiality to you very seriously. The highest levels of technical security and controls are put in place to ensure your information is kept confidential and secure at all times.
FAQs for Professionals
Which organisations are already using the NHCP?
Below is a list of all organisations that are currently utilising the NHCP
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals
- Nottingham University Hospitals
- Nottinghamshire County Council
- Nottingham City Council
- Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
- Nottingham CityCare Partnerships
- Primary Integrated Community Services
- We are also currently organising the roll out to all GPs in Nottinghamshire.
How can I get access to the NHCP?
If you would like access to the NHCP or if you would like further information please email Nottinghamshirehealthandcareportal@nuh.nhs.uk with your query and contact information and a member of our team will be happy to help.
Do I need to inform the patient if I am viewing their record?
Usually, yes. Every patient has a record created in the system, but they need to be informed to view this record. Exceptions to this are if the patient lacks capacity or is a child with no accompanying parent/guardian (when you can access the record in their best interests). It has also been agreed that you can access the patient's record with their implied consent to check the appropriateness of a referral (e.g. clinic vetting / telephone triage).
When you attempt to access a patient's record you will be presented with the consent screen. There are several options to choose from here. When asked, most patients are happy for their record to be accessed by all health and social care staff indefinitely and we would encourage this option to be used (in which case staff will not have to go through the consent screen again). If patients are unsure about this then they can give their consent just for that consultation. If the patient declines consent for their record to be accessed and this option is selected, their record is locked out for 7 days after which time the consent options will appear again. There are specific options to select if accessing a patient record without consent in emergency situation or for direct care purposes when a patient isn’t present ("break glass")
Can a patient opt out of the NHCP?
Yes, but hardly any choose to do so.
Patients with capacity can opt out of their information in the Portal being accessed. However it should be emphasised that sharing information in this way is beneficial to the patient and the system is very secure. Often explaining what the NHCP is, who can access it and what the information is (and isn't) used for would remove any anxieties patients have. It is important to explain the following if a patient does request to opt out:
•Their clinical information for direct care purposes is already shared between health and care staff (largely on paper at the moment) and care cannot be provided without this, the NHCP facilitates a more secure and quicker way to do this.
•The NHCP will only be used for direct care purposes (including medical/nursing/therapy/social care, clinical audit, governance or safeguarding investigations). It will NOT be used for research.
•Only health and care professionals will have access to their information, and only when they have a legitimate need to do so
•All activity in the NHCP is logged and audited
•If a patient wishes to opt out then their GP information will not be accessible in an emergency (for instance if they present unwell or injured to the Emergency Department, we may not know what medications they are taking or what allergies they have). Opt outs cannot be reversed out of hours.
If a patient still wishes to opt out then they should e-mail NHCP@nuh.nhs.uk or ring 0115 9709946. Their record will be updated and a letter sent to their registered address confirming this. In the event that a patient is not satisfied with this information or wishes to have a more detailed discussion about this then a conversation with the Caldicott Guardian can be arranged.