Giving people more choice is a priority of the modern NHS and as a patient, you have the right to choose where you receive the care you need.
The Choice Framework (PDF, 135kb) explains when you have a legal right to choice about treatment and care in the NHS. The legal right to choice doesn't apply to all healthcare services. However, where you do not have a legal right to choice, you should at least be offered some choices depending on what's available locally.
More information on Patient Choice can be found on the NHS Choices website.
The HERON website provides a searchable source of self-help support groups, statutory and voluntary agencies covering West Norfolk www.heron.nhs.uk. The information is available in various formats and languages.
NHS Care Records
The NHS is introducing new computer systems and services to improve the safety and quality of your care. Better access to your information makes your care quicker, safer and more personal.
Over time, more health records will be made electronic, giving our staff quicker access to reliable information about you to help with your treatment, including in emergencies.
It is likely that your doctor or consultant already uses a computer system to keep notes of appointments they have with you, plus any medicines you have been prescribed, test results and details of any referrals to other healthcare staff.
There are different types of electronic health records held about your care:
- Summary Care Records – held nationally and can be looked at anywhere in the NHS in England;
- Records held in prescriptions, referrals and other local systems;
- Detailed care records – held locally at places that treat you regularly, like your GP practice or local hospital.
Electronic Health Records
Healthcare staff supporting and providing your care will be able to see and share up-to-date, accurate information about you to help them make decisions and to prevent mistakes.
For example, they will be able to make better decisions about what medicine to give you if they know what you are already taking, or if you have had a bad reaction to a medicine in the past.
Your care is less likely to be delayed because your paper records are somewhere else. We won't need to do as many tests because the results are lost or are unavailable.
You should not have to repeat the same details over and over again when you receive care – NHS healthcare staff will get better access to a more complete picture of your health history.
Summary Care Record
A Summary Care Record is an electronic record which contains information about the medicines you take, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines you have had.
Having this information stored in one place makes it easier for healthcare staff to treat you in an emergency, or when your GP practice is closed.
For more information about NHS Care Records, visit the NHS Choices website.