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Sensitive markers on all NHS referrals – Mental Health
Posted by Mark Crossley
8th May 2017

During 2017 after trying to attempt some mental health support, even after asking at the doctors surgery and being on two council of governors this is the first time I knew this was possible to undertake however I will guide you through this, people need to be safeguarded as often those who you are being referred to cannot do it despite claiming they do, it should be an honour for those in mental health services to treat a person who is struggling but some abuse their position and the patient looses out so this is in your control to get the best of both worlds.

I have tried to access both IAPT and psychological support from two mental health trusts, things are difficult at home, family are not supportive of this route, physical matters are very different as many maybe in similar situations so with moving house was to actively pursue this route and get the paperwork that I now know is possible to put restrictions in place.

It is my firm belief that all mental health referrals in England and Wales especially in the East Midlands should have them in place and should also be the case around your National Insurance number too.

What happens when someone types in my NHS number?

Firstly, you have to be mindful that if they have your details before this is put in place then under Data Protection Act rules they cannot remove this as well as this is only done electronically and not in paper form.

What then?

Assuming you have not had any referrals made to these teams then ask your doctor to fill out a form, both you and the GP have to fill this in and both have to sign this.

What does it restrict?

Everything pretty much, when you give any NHS service your NHS number this only shows really your date of birth and NHS number, your, email, mobile, address, and GP details cannot be seen by any health professional unless they have a NHS smart card that gives them special access which excludes the majority of NHS employees.

This can affect you accessing your online access to your own records, electronic prescriptions but this states this on the guidance notes.

How can others contact me?

The best way is on any external referrals is by email and mobile, if you are vulnerable you want to control who can access you and who can do what with certain information, this includes NHS 111, the only issue is that when it comes to the NHS summary care record which is really your medications and medical history & could be much more serious then you will have to make a decision of how best to overcome this as can be detrimental to your health to withdraw this.

What is the best email and website address to get the forms?

This is managed by NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/NHS-Number and can email them nhsnumber@nhs.net.

Should everyone do this?

Yes, I believe if you have issues of trust with mental health staff or this could adversely impact you in anyway then you should get the forms yourself or ask the GP surgery to, they send you some basic form to fill out and you and the GP as I said earlier sign it, it't active within 24 hours.

What happens when I go for appointments?

It is simple, you say all I have to give you is my NHS number, DOB and then you can give your email or phone number as additional identifiable markers but that is it. Your GP on a referral will make the relevant team know so you should not have any issues.

What should you do in addition?

You should ask the GP for the letter they send for referrals then you can show them to then verify this would be a good idea.

You can if you need to put the surgery address on your prescription and the GP can over-ride this also if this is necessary.

For security reasons what I feel should be done is you should be able to put a memorable word so when you deal with any organisation then you give characters 1, 3 or 5 for instance because in this day and age if someone gets your NHS number, knows what you are doing which you should not say then this just puts an additional layer of security and when attending appointments they ask you for these with your NHS number would be the most appropriate and less embarrassing way to move forward but these things are not widely used and maybe a surprise for some reading this that it actually exists.

You have to weigh up the pro's and con's around your physical and mental health needs, personally for me this has worked to a degree, if you have any questions email me mec980@yahoo.co.uk or respond on the forum.

I hope this blog is of interest to some, may stop panic attacks, anxieties and enable you to engage with such services better.

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