Mar 012017

NHSScotland is improving the way it uses information from GP patient records.

SPIRE is a service that will allow small amounts of information from GP practice records to be used to help doctors’ surgeries, NHSScotland and the Scottish Government to improve care and plan services, and to help researchers to learn more from patient information held at GP practices.

A new campaign is underway to inform patients across Scotland of the benefits of the service, and the confidential and secure way in which GP patient records will be used to help plan and improve health care services.

The main points the information campaign hope to get across to the public are:

  • SPIRE is a new service that will be used to help NHSScotland and the Scottish Government plan for Scotland’s health and care needs.
  • The gathering of this data will help NHSScotland plan and make the right decisions for patients.
  • To protect patient confidentiality, details will be encrypted before they are sent, so people can be sure their information is secure at all times.
  • No reports that are produced to inform health and care planning will contain any patient identifiable data.
  • If patients are happy for NHSScotland to use information from their GP records, they don’t need to do anything.
  • If patients do not wish their data to be used in this way, they will need to contact their GP practice to opt-out.
  • For further information, visit or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 from 7th March 2017.

No data will be extracted from GP Surgeries until May at the earliest. This allows plenty of time for patients to inform themselves on the service and make a decision on whether they would like to opt-out.

If you feel that opting out is the right decision for you then please complete the SPIRE opt-out form, available on their website, or ask for the form at our reception desk.

If you are one of our patients who has previously requested that your medical data never be anonymously shared with similar services, please be aware that you will also be excluded from this service by default, so you don’t need to take any further action. If you would like to change your mind and opt back in to SPIRE, or any other similar service, you can do so at any time. Just contact the Practice to let us know.