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Giving your patient their health information

All the data you enter about your patients with diabetes is included in a Scotland-wide database called SCI-Diabetes – this data is used to generate the Scottish Diabetes Survey. There are two ways for people with diabetes to access their own information, which can be useful in supporting self-management. You can help by encouraging your patients to access their information – by printing it out during a consultation, or by referring people to More information about the patient held summary is given below.

In 2010 Scottish Diabetes Group gave Diabetes UK Scotland funding to support the uptake of the patient held summary. We focused our work in three pilot areas – NHS Lothian, NHS Fife and NHS Highland. We encouraged people with diabetes to ask their healthcare professional for their patient held summary and encouraged healthcare professionals to offer their patients a print out of the summary. We also worked with SCI-Diabetes to improve the layout and information provided in the patient held summary.

We have leaflets for people with diabetes to let them know about the patient held summary, and for healthcare professionals explaining the benefits of patients using the summary. If you would like copies of either of these leaflets, please email giving your name, address (including postcode) and the quantities of which leaflet you require, and we will send these to you.

Here are some questions you might have – the answers, tailored for primary care staff, are given .

  1. The Patient Held Summary – what can it do for you?
  2. What is the Patient Held Summary?
  3. My patients’ self-management is generally poor. Will this really help?
  4. How does it help my QOF results?
  5. What equipment do I need to access the PHS?
  6. What training do I need?
  7. Can SCI-Diabetes give me other information?


1.Used properly, the Patient Held Summary (PHS) helps patients improve their self-management, which should lead to:

  • better diabetes control
  • fewer surgery visits
  • reduced risk of complications
  • better outcomes against your Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) targets
  • improved compliance with national initiatives, eg Quality Improvement Scotland: Clinical Standards Diabetes; Diabetes Action Plan 2010; SIGN 116 Guidelines and the Healthcare Quality and Self-Management Strategies.

And for your patients, it:

  • encourages participation in decisions to improve on results
  • allows patients to feel empowered to manage their own care
  • can significantly increase patient satisfaction with their experience of interacting with the healthcare system.  back>

2. The Patient Held Summary (PHS) brings together the information you need to integrate and co-ordinate care for people with diabetes. It is a print-out of all the results from your patients’ diabetes-related tests, including foot scores and retinopathy, which have been collated in one place by SCI-Diabetes (Scottish Care Information – Diabetes).  You or your practice/diabetes specialist nurse can then use the information to discuss with patients how to set realistic and achievable self-management goals for themselves. These are recorded on the system and the print out is given to the patient to take away with them and to take to other clinical appointments. The goals are then revisited at their next diabetes review.  back>

3. The Patient Held Summary has been redesigned to provide more information for the patient on why each of their results is important and to signpost them beyond your surgery to more sources of information and help. Using the PHS to set specific targets with them will help them focus on the right things to look for help on.  back>

5. Good self-management will mean that patients should be able to maintain good levels of HbA1c/mmols and blood pressure, etc. They are more likely to have stable, consistent and positive results, which should be reflected in your QOF points.   back>

6. You should already have everything you need. SCI-Diabetes uses the national suite of information technology systems designed to support the care of patients with diabetes in Scotland. This follows on from SCI-DC Network and provides secure, web-based, access to the shared patient record for diabetes on the NHS Network.  The information collected provides data for the compulsory annual Scottish Diabetes Survey and GMS Contract indicators. Your practice will already have access to the system. You only need to be able to connect to a printer.  back>

7. Most people in healthcare have some experience of clinical IT systems and electronic patient records. SCI-Diabetes is currently being rolled out and an updated version of the system and training materials will be available on-line. In the meantime, speak to your line manager about contacting your local SCI-Diabetes administrator who can arrange your user name and password.  back>

8. There are various places on SCI-Diabetes where certain facts and figures are found. These include:

  • the regional comparison page which shows a breakdown of a practice by specific cohort groups (diabetes type, age distribution, etc)
  • regional figures for the same variables for comparison
  • practice-wide report pages for eye screening (shows a breakdown of patients digitally screened or not in the prior 15 months)
  • and foot screening (including foot risk scoring), etc.

You can also access some practice based audits in SCI-Diabetes (eg general clinical audits, patient contacts audits, etc). Each board also has access to their audit database – which contains frequently updated snapshots of region-wide clinical data.  back>

Using the PHS will help you, as a healthcare professional, work together with people with diabetes to:

  • support and encourage successful self management
  • help minimise the risks of developing diabetes complications
  • help you in achieving diabetes-related targets and compliance.SCI-Diabetes delivers clinically useful tools to support the care of patients by having their most up-to-date information available at a review to help improve communication and further establish the patient-focused approach.back>
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