The use of joined up information across health and social care brings many benefits. One specific example where this will be the case is the discharge of patients into social care. Delays in discharge (commonly known as bed blocking) can occur because details of social care involvement are not readily available to the staff on the hospital ward. The hospital does not know who to contact to discuss the ongoing care of a patient. The linking of social care and health information via the NHS number will help hospital staff quickly identify if social care support is already in place and who the most appropriate contact is. Ongoing care can be planned earlier in the process, because hospital staff will know who to talk to.
NHS Digital, the body that issues the NHS Number have stated that you have the right to object to the processing of your NHS number in this way. This will not stop you from receiving care, but will result in the benefits outlined above not being realised. To help you decide, we will discuss with you how this may affect our ability to provide you with care, and any other options that you have.
If you wish to opt-out from the use of your NHS number in this way, you can contact us by phoning 0300 033 1800 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will pass your information to the organisation(s) that are providing you with care.