NHS Scotland Launches SPIRE

SPIRE (Scottish Primary Care Information Resource) is a service that has been developed to help GPs, the NHS in Scotland and researchers to learn from information held at GP practices. SPIRE will be used to help plan for Scotland’s health and care needs.

It allows a small amount of information from GP patient records to be transferred electronically and held securely at NHS National Services Scotland, the NHS Scotland organisation responsible for health statistics. It uses information from GP practices all over Scotland in a safe and secure way; all data is encrypted before it is transferred to SPIRE. NHS organisations and approved researchers will be able to use SPIRE in ways that could help everyone in Scotland, such as:

    • Improving the quality of care for all patients

    • Planning services and care for people who have a condition or a health need

    • Responding to major public health issues like flu epidemics

    • Improving the provision of health and care to vulnerable or disadvantaged groups

    • Developing knowledge about the uptake of vital medicines and vaccines.

    • Supporting research into new treatments for particular illnesses

NHS Scotland is running a new campaign 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. It also outlines the choice patients have in respect of whether their medical information is included in the SPIRE analysis or not.  

To find out more on the SPIRE programme and your options, go to the SPIRE website or call NHS Inform on 0800 224488

You can also download the SPIRE leaflet.

Opting Out of SPIRE

Patients can opt out of the SPIRE programme. If you do not want information from your GP medical record to be included in SPIRE, you need to complete an Opt Out Form and submit this to the practice. You can do this by handing the completed form in at Reception or posting it to the practice.

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