Patients Council Meeting – 29 January 2018

Our new Chair, Martin McAlpine, introduced our guest speaker, Professor Alison McCallum, in her capacity as NHS Lothian’s Caldicott Guardian, whose role ensures that patients’ identifiable information is treated with dignity and respect. If patient consent is required, it must be given freely and can be withdrawn at any time. She ensures that rights are respected, needs are assessed, the correct treatment and care is given effectively and adequate information is provided. She receives 500 applications a year to use patient data for research and sometimes comes into conflict with the Scottish Government by insisting that information is anonymised and patient consent is given. Patient Information must be transferred and stored safely and securely and can only be used with patient consent. The process of transferring patient information from paper to electronic systems is not yet complete – it has to be done carefully, ensuring it’s complete and well-organised. Clinical staff need access to enough information to enable
them to treat the patient well, and it must be available when needed. Mental Health Tribunal papers should be sent to patients in lockable, tamper-proof bags.
If you have an Advance Statement, there should be an alert on TRAK to state this. Patients’ Emergency Care Summaries should be available to the ambulance service. TRAK has lots of screens and tabs, and runs checks to make sure
that staff are not accessing information inappropriately – indeed, some staff have been sacked for doing this. Psychologists need to have a summary, agreed
with the patient, of what information to share with other clinical staff on TRAK. Every patient should have a Key Information Summary, compiled with
their GP. We discussed concerns about diagnostic overshadowing and cited examples of people being treated less favourably in A & E when clinical staff learned about their mental health conditions. We also raised security
concerns about sharing information with social care staff who are severely stretched due to budget cuts. We heard about new developments at Outlook,
Redhall Walled Garden and the hospital gym.