Patients are to gain better access and greater control over their health and care data under new proposals.
The NHSX draft strategy, ‘Data Saves Lives: Reshaping health and social care with data’ builds on ground-breaking use of data during the pandemic with a focus on privacy and security.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, (pictured) said: “Data saves lives. More effective use of data will deliver better patient focused care. It will free up staff time to focus on patients and allow clinicians to make better, more informed decisions on treatment and support.
“The pandemic has taught us we must be bold and the great strides we have made on vaccines and treatments during this time have been made possible by the way we use data.
“This strategy seeks to put people in control of their own data, while supporting the NHS in creating a modernised system fit for the 21st century which puts patients and staff in pole position.”
The strategy proposes a new duty to share anonymous data safely and appropriately across the entire health system. New legislation will also be introduced to require all adult social care providers to provide information about all the services they fund to ensure service users have the best care and experience.
Under the proposals, patients will easily be able to access their test results, medication lists, procedures and care plans from across all parts of the health system through patient apps, such as the NHS App, by ensuring data is shared safely and more effectively across the system. By improving their access to data, people will also be able to manage appointments, refill medications and speak with health and care staff when needed.
The strategy aims to break down data barriers and give patients confidence that health and care staff have up-to-date medical information, regardless of the care setting, enabling clinicians to make quicker, more informed decisions to deliver better treatment. Improving data collection and the way NHS systems work together will mean staff spend less time collecting and looking for information they need, so they can spend more time with those they are caring for to focus on looking after them.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said: “The role of data in social care is evolving at a very fast rate. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly apparent that reliable data from social care is a necessity to analyse the health and quality of life of the nation.
“The sector is starting to produce data at levels previously unimagined, and data is key to driving decisions which will help improve the quality of life of the people that we care for and support.”