Health Risk Screening or Risk Stratification is a process that helps your GP to determine whether you are at risk of an unplanned admission or deterioration in health. By using selected information such as age, gender, NHS number, diagnosis, existing long term condition(s), medication history, patterns of hospital attendances, admissions and periods of access to community care your GP will be able to judge if you are likely to need more support and care from time to time, or if the right services are in place to support the local population’s needs.
To summarise Risk Stratification is used in the NHS to:
- Help decide if a patient is at a greater risk of suffering from a particular condition.
- Prevent emergency admission.
- Identify if a patient needs medical help to prevent a health condition from getting worse.
- Review and amend the provision of current health and social care services.
Your GP will use computer-based algorithms or calculations to identify their registered patients who are at most risk, with support from the local Commissioning Support Unit (CSU*) and/or a third party accredited Risk Stratification provider.
The risk stratification contracts are arranged by NHS Great Yarmouth & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group in accordance with the current Section 251 Agreement. Neither the CSU nor Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG will, at any time, have access to your personal or confidential data. They will only act on behalf of your GP to organise the risk stratification service with appropriate contractual technical and security measures in place.
*CSUs provide Clinical Commissioning Groups (and general practices) with support, specialist skills, and knowledge.
Your GP will routinely conduct the risk stratification process outside of your GP appointment. This process is conducted electronically and without human intervention. The resulting report is then reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of staff within the Practice. This may result in contact being made with you if alterations to the provision of your care are identified.
A Section 251 Agreement is where the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has granted permission for personal data to be used for the purpose of risk stratification, in acknowledgement that it would overburden the NHS to conduct manual reviews of all patient registers held by individual providers.
As mentioned above, you have the right to object to your information being used in this way. However, you should be aware that your objection may have a negative impact on the timely and proactive provision of your direct care. Please contact the operations manager to discuss how disclosure of your personal data can be limited.