OCS Purpose and Principles Consent


The Oxfordshire Care Summary was commissioned by Oxfordshire PCT in 2010, in order to meet the following goal from the Informatics Strategy Roadmap:

  1. The information on a patient needed to support his/her care will be available when and where it is needed by any authorised member of the clinical / social care professional team caring for that person.
  2. Its development was approved by user and patient representative groups based on the following principles:


It is a clinical decision-support tool

The Oxfordshire Care Summary is a Health Information Exchange: a real-time view of information held in disparate clinical systems across Oxfordshire about patients registered at Oxfordshire GP practices. 

It is available to clinicians only

It is not to be used for any other purpose without the explicit informed consent of the patient and approval from the Programme Board

It is not a separate record

  • The data remains the data of the host system
  • The source and age of the data is clear
  • The data does not directly populate another system

Printing is permitted for the purpose of delivering clinical care

The printed pages must be processed or disposed of in line with that organisation’s policies. 


The Consent Model is a hybrid model, based on the Summary Care Record consent model, consistent with the IG requirements of the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the BMA (and agreed locally by patient and clinician representatives).  the various consent models are:

  • Informed implicit consent to share

Oxfordshire residents were informed by direct mailing of the intent to share their information via the Oxfordshire Care Summary in March 2012; they are able to opt out if they wish, by means of a Read code being added to their GP record.

NOTE: change in consent status can be made at any time: a signed form must be submitted to their GP

  • Explicit permission to view

Patients will be asked their permission before a clinician views their Oxfordshire Care Summary, unless they are unable to do so and the clinician deems it clinically justified to view without permission.

  • Break glass

Where the patient is unable or unwilling to give permission, and there is a clinical justification for accessing the OCS, the clinician may access the OCS without permission, but must be able to account for their actions. This is known as a break glass incident and will be investigated.

  • Access audit

All access will be audited. More information is available from the Information and clinical governance page.