General Practice (GP) records let doctors provide patients with the care they need, but are also the closest thing that we have to a comprehensive lifelong record of a patient's health and the treatment they receive. As such, GP records are an extremely valuable source of information providing the potential for NHSScotland to learn more about the health needs of the population and how best to address those needs.
In 2011, the Scottish Government and NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) embarked on a collaborative project with the aim to unlock the potential described above. Scottish Primary Care Information Resource (SPIRE) is a new service which will simplify and standardise the process for extracting data from GP practice systems for a number of purposes and support any new contractual arrangements with GPs through the provision of data and business intelligence. SPIRE also assists GPs by providing tools for practices, for example a flu vaccination dashboard and statistics on multi-morbidities.
SPIRE has been developed in conjunction with input from pathfinder practices, Health Boards and other key stakeholders. Last year saw intensive user testing and report development and the shaping of tailored training plans for each Health Board.
SPIRE will be introduced in phases across Scotland from January 2017, and a Public Information Campaign will run in March 2017.
[We] have endorsed the information governance approach taken by SPIRE as robust in terms of respecting patient confidentiality and the important role of GPs as data controllers while providing a mechanism capable of supporting the realisation of the benefits of data sharing.