What is Connect Care?
In the past health and social care workers from different organisations in Lewisham and Greenwich have not had a system in place to share important information about your care automatically. This means that GPs, hospital staff, district nurses, occupational therapists and social workers have not always had immediate access to all the information they need to provide the most timely and efficient care.
To address this we have developed “Connect Care”. Connect Care is a local electronic record which allows important information from separate record systems to be viewed quickly and safely, by staff directly involved in your care on a need to know basis.
Connect Care does not gather new information; it makes existing information more readily available anywhere that you receive care.
This means those involved in your care, such as GPs, hospital staff, district nurses, and social workers, will have faster access to information about you, which will help them provide you with the most timely and efficient treatment.
How is Connect Care going to benefit me?
Often when you see care professional important information about you is not available at that time which can end up causing repeat appointments, repeat blood tests, or you being constantly asked to repeat information that should be readily available. For example, if you are treated in the emergency department at hospital, the staff that treat you may have to spend time contacting other organisations to obtain relevant information – such as the results of any tests you have had through your GP surgery.
With Connect Care the professionals treating you will be able to see this information at a glance. It means that front-line professionals can focus on providing you with the right treatment, rather than wasting time trying to get all the information they need. This will speed up treatment and may help avoid you getting admitted into hospital unnecessarily, or may help you return to your home more quickly after treatment.
What will my Connect Care record include?
Connect Care will contain important information about you. This includes:
- Your name, address and NHS number to help identify you correctly
- Information about your appointments and hospital attendances
- Medicines you are taking plus details of medication reactions and allergies
- Test results
Who can view my information in Connect Care?
Only authorised staff will have access to Connect Care on a need to know basis.
The information each person will be able to view will depend on their job role e.g. a social worker will not be able to see the same level of information as a GP.
We will ask your permission at the point of care before viewing your Connect Care record. If you are unable to give permission, e.g. in an emergency, your care providers will only view your record if they believe it is in your best interest. If this is the case, this will be documented.
What if I don’t want my information to be available through Connect Care?
You can choose to have a Connect Care record. If you would like one, you won’t need to do anything. It will happen automatically.
You have the right to choose not to have your information available through Connect Care record.
You can download and print the opt-out form by following the link below:
If you would like to request an opt out form via freepost, you can call 020 8314 0481. This number will take you to an answering machine service. Please leave your name and telephone number and we will get back to you.
What will it mean if I do not have a Connect Care record?
Without a Connect Care record your records will stay as they are now with information being shared by letter, email, fax or phone. This means that health and social care staff caring for you may not have all the information they need to allow them to deliver fast, effective and safe care for you.
Is my information secure?
Yes, your information is secure as Connect Care can only be accessed over a secure network by those authorised to view it.
What is the timescale for Connect Care?
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust – which runs University Hospital Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and community services in Lewisham – will be starting to use Connect Care from March 2015; this will be limited to a small number of care professionals initially and then gradually rolled out to others. The Trust currently uses a range of different computer systems, and Connect Care will allow important information from these separate record systems to be viewed by care professionals.
GP practices in Lewisham and Greenwich will be joining Connect Care from April, and the following organisations will be joining later:
London Borough of Lewisham
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Can I get access to my own Connect Care record on-line?
Not yet. However, this is something we are keen to introduce at a later stage, once we have rolled the project out across Lewisham and Greenwich.
Will you be selling my information to insurance or research companies?
No, we will never sell your information to any third party.
Will social services use information in Connect Care when assessing my benefits claims?
No, information will only ever used in the delivery of care.
Is this the same as Summary Care Record (SCR)?
No, the national Summary Care Record is not the same as your local Connect Care record. Your Connect Care record will provide a more detailed view of your health and care, and will only be available locally.
If I have already opted out of SCR will this automatically apply to Connect Care?
No, you will need to let us know if you want to opt out of Connect Care.
If you don’t want your information to be available through Connect Care, you can request an opt out form by calling 020 8314 0481. This number will take you to an answering machine service. Please leave your name and telephone number and we will get back to you.
Alternatively, you can download and print the opt-out form by following the link below. Please fill in the form and post it back to us via freepost.
Is this related to Care.data?
No, Care.data is a national NHS service which collects non-identifiable patient information from GP practices to help in planning and research. Connect Care is not linked to Care.data in any way.
I’m new to the area – do I have a Connect Care record?
If you are registered with a participating GP practice, or have received care from any of the other participating organisations, then you will have a Connect Care record.
Which organisations are involved in Connect Care?
The organisations participating in the 1st phase in early 2015 are:
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
Lewisham GP Practices
Greenwich GP Practices [4 Pilot practices, All Saints Medical Centre isn’t one of them]
The following organisations will join later in 2015,
GP practices in Lewisham and Greenwich will be joining Connect Care from April 15
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
London Borough of Lewisham (social care)
Royal Borough of Greenwich (social care)
The programme is supported by:
NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group
NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group
Who can I contact for more information?
If you require further information, please call 020 8314 0481. This number will take you to an answering machine service. Please leave your name and telephone number and we will get back to you.