Hundreds of Suffolk patients agree to vital information sharing during ‘feet on the street’ campaign

GPs and health staff on the streets of Ipswich as part of the annual Feet on the Street event. Pictu

GPs and health staff on the streets of Ipswich as part of the annual Feet on the Street event. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Doctors who stood on the streets of Suffolk for a morning managed to get an extra 500 patients to give their permission for vital information about their health to be shared with other clinicians involved in their care.

Dr John Hague with the health record sharing consent form. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Dr John Hague with the health record sharing consent form. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Stands were set up across Ipswich, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Hadleigh and Aldeburgh between 10am and 12noon today as part of an annual campaign run by the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The main aim of this year’s ‘feet on the street’ event was to encourage as many people as possible to sign a form which allows their GP records to be seen by other health and social care professionals treating them.

Speaking at the Ipswich stall, Dan Cox, from the CCG’s IT department, said only around 20% of patients in Suffolk had consented to their full medical details being shared.

While Dr Ben Solway said many people were unaware they needed to sign a form to allow this to happen.

Dr John Hague takes reporter Gemma Mitchell's blood pressure. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Dr John Hague takes reporter Gemma Mitchell's blood pressure. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown


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He added: “Your health is your health and it’s a privilege it is shared with your GP. We see it as our role to look after that information and share it appropriately.

“The form makes it clear we are not sharing with the wider public or the media, it really is the health system sharing data amongst itself and most people assume we do that anyway but we think it’s safer to ask permission.

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“If people don’t share and it’s critical to have that information it can be obtained by breaching the fire-wall but it’s better if you given your permission. It’s more seamless.”

The event was also used to convince people to go to a pharmacy for help with minor problems.

Dr John Hague, who was also at the Ipswich stall on Barrack Corner, said: “We are encouraging people to ‘think pharmacist’ and if you have a simple thing like sunburn or hay fever your pharmacist can help you with that.”

Doctors checked around 30 to 40 people’s blood pressure on the day.

High blood pressure can lead to crises like heart attack or stroke but it usually has no signs or symptoms

Dr Solway said: “If you wait until someone is unwell to monitor their blood pressure we miss the opportunity to prevent these problems.”

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