SPiRE has been developed to help Doctors, the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland and researchers to learn more from patient information held by GP Practices.  They will use it to help all NHS patients in Scotland.  So information from your medical records - and those of millions of other people in Scotland - will help medical professionals to improve the quality of care for all patients, plan services, develop new treatments, find out about side-effects and respond to major epidemics.

SPiRE moves information electronically and securely, from GP Practice records to NHS National Services (NSS).  They will then use SPiRE and other IT systems to give better information to the NHS in Scotland, and to approved researchers.

How SPiRE protects your privacy:

  • if researchers need to identify you, they will ask your permission
  • the Scottish Government will not be able to see your personal information
  • personal information will not be sold to make money
  • it uses only selected and coded parts of the health record, not the whole record
  • staff and researchers are carefully trained and are only allowed to use the least information they need for each project.  Only a small number of authorised staff can find out who the information is about
  • researchers from outside NHS Scotland must be independently approved

If doctors at your GP Practice have agreed to let SPiRE use patient information, it means they believe it will help all patients in Scotland, and that they have tight security checks in place to keep your information safe.

For more information and answers to your questions, please visit www.spire.scot/your-questions

If you do not want your health information to be used, you can get an opt out form from reception to complete and hand back to the Practice.  This form can also be printed from the SPiRE website www.spire.scot and handed in to the Practice once complete.  The Practice will put a code on your medical records to show that you have opted out.  If you change your mind at a later date and wish to opt back in, please let the Practice know and we will update your status.

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