During January, 22 million households in England – starting in the north of England – will have received a leaflet from NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) about the introduction of care.data – a programme that will use information to improve the safety and care of patients. The leaflet will explain how the new system will work and the benefits it will bring.
The NHS treats about one million people every 36 hours, collecting a vast amount of information about how patients have been treated and what their outcomes have been. At the moment, this information is held separately across the NHS.
For the first time, the care.data programme will link information from different NHS providers to give healthcare commissioners a more complete picture of how safe local services are, and how well they treat and care for patients across community, GP and hospital settings.
The information can also be used by NHS organisations to plan and design services better, using the best available evidence of which treatments and services have the greatest impact on improving patients’ health.
Further information on care.data is available on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk/caredata