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care.data – joining up health and social care needs

A new system to collect information from patient's medical records that will help to provide a 'joined-up' picture of the country's health and social care needs is currently underway in the region.

Every week, the NHS collects millions of pieces of data about the population’s health, the way services are accessed and the types of treatments provided to support our nations' health and wellbeing. Care.data, delivered by the Health
and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and NHS England, will bring this information together to:

The information gathered - date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender - will be used to link patient records in a secure system.

Confidentiality is paramount and if this information is used, it will not contain information that identifies individuals. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.

In its information that has been sent to households, NHS England  states that it is committed to supporting patients in making informed decisions about their healthcare and how their information is used.  The leaflet also explains what information will be used as part of care.data and makes it clear how people can opt out if they choose to do so.

The first data extraction takes place in March 2014. To find out more click here.

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