ALL householders in the North of England are to receive a leaflet explaining how the NHS uses patient information.

Over the next four weeks every household in the country will receive a ‘Better Information Means Better Care’ leaflet, explaining the benefits of sharing information about the care they have received.

Residents in the North will be the first to receive theirs.

“I fully support this initiative,” said Dr Imran Rafi, chair of the clinical innovation and research centre at the Royal College of General Practitioners.

“GPs understand the importance of sharing information appropriately both as part of delivering clinical care and for wider uses, such as research and for planning NHS services.

“It is important that patients understand how the NHS uses and shares their information, and that they feel they have been given a proper choice to participate.”

As explained in the leaflet, patients have the right to object to their data being used for purposes other than their direct care.

If patients wish to restrict their data being used then they should talk to their GP.

An information line has been set up for patients to call if they have any questions or concerns, which can be reached on 0300 456 3531.