A change for the better

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.

What are the benefits of SPIRE data use?

SPIRE will be used to help plan for Scotland’s health and care needs. It allows information from GP patient records to be transferred electronically and held securely at NHS National Services Scotland, the NHSScotland organisation responsible for health statistics.

It uses information from GP practices all over Scotland in a safe and secure way.

NHS organisations and approved researchers will be able to use SPIRE in ways that could help you and everyone in Scotland.

Improving data use

John Stirling, a patient representative from Disabilities, Fife explaining how SPIRE is helping NHS Scotland improve the way it uses information from GP patient records.

See all SPIRE videos

How will I and other patients benefit?

  • It will be easier for practices to monitor patients on particular medications and make sure they are getting the right follow-up care
  • Your surgery will be able to better meet your needs, particularly if you have a long-term medical condition
  • SPIRE will help with research into new treatments for particular illnesses and conditions that you might suffer from
  • It will be easier for the NHS to look at how many people have certain health problems and to plan services.

How will my practice benefit?

Benefits of SPIRE

Professor John Gillies, Honorary Professor, Department of General Practice, University of Edinburgh, on the benefits of SPIRE for patients, practices and health in Scotland.

See all SPIRE videos

SPIRE will help your practice provide you with better care and services and help with the following:

  • Planning the practice time and staffing levels more efficiently
  • Analysing the number of patients that have certain illnesses or looking at the medicines they are prescribed
  • Keeping more accurate medical records with better quality of information
  • Responding more easily to research requests from organisations like charities or university researchers
  • Groups of practices who work together in a community can look at what conditions or illnesses are most common in the area.

How will the NHS and Scotland benefit?

Being able to use this information will mean NHSScotland can:

  • Improve the quality of care for all patients
  • Plan services and care for people who have a condition or a health need
  • Respond to major public health issues like flu epidemics
  • Improve the provision of health and care to vulnerable or disadvantaged groups
  • Develop knowledge about the uptake of vital medicines and vaccines.
  • Support research into new treatments for particular illnesses

Information is also available in Arabic, Mandarin, Polish and Urdu in the resources section.