You may recently have received a text from the Practice asking about your ethnicity.
We do understand that asking you to confirm this personal information may feel sensitive. We wanted to take the opportunity to provide you with some more information and reassurance about the request, and how we will protect your information.
Guidance on how you can share your information securely can be found at the bottom of this page.
As a provider of health services, the NHS encourages GP Practices to request information about patients’ ethnicity. This helps us to understand the needs of different patients and ultimately provide better and more appropriate services.
Everyone belongs to an ethnic group, and it’s generally accepted that ethnicity includes many different aspects of an individual’s life that is personal and meaningful to them. This might include things like ancestry, culture, identity, religion, language and physical appearance.
Ethnic groups are more commonly identified as a group within a larger society; such as African, Asian, Caribbean and Chinese people living and working in Britain.
Having this information helps us, and the NHS to:
- Understand the needs of patients and service users from different groups to provide better and more appropriate services.
- Identify risk factors – as some groups are more at risk of specific health conditions or have specific care needs, and so ethnic group information can help our team to provide more personalised care where this is needed.
- Improve public health by ensuring our services are reaching all local communities and that we are delivering services fairly to everyone that needs them.
- Comply with the law, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 gives public authorities a duty to promote race equality and good race relations, ethnic monitoring is important in making sure that race discrimination is not taking place.
There are a number of ethnic groups used as standard categories for collecting ethnic group information. Using these codes help us to compare information about the people using our services alongside information from the census which tells us about our local population.
The list of groups is designed to allow most people to identify themselves and is not intended to leave out any groups of people, but to keep the collection of ethnic information simple.
It is important to us that you are able to describe your own ethnic group. If you need to complete any of the boxes labelled ‘any other group’ then we would really appreciate it if you could give some additional details so that we can better understand your needs.
You do not have to answer the question on your ethnic group, but providing this information is very important. It will help us with diagnosis and assessment of your needs, and it will also help us to plan and improve our service.
Experience shows that when people are asked their ethnic group, the proportion of people who choose not to answer is quite small. We hope that this information provides some reassurance about the request and how this can help us to provide the best possible service to our patients.
The information you provide will be treated as part of your confidential NHS notes. The NHS has strict standards regarding data protection and your information will be carefully safeguarded.
Guidance on how to share your information securely
If you receive a text from the Practice, there will be a link for you to follow.
When you tap the link you will be taken to this page:
After tapping “Get Started”, you will then be asked to confirm your identity by inputting your date of birth:
Once you have inputted the correct DOB, you will then be asked what your ethnicity is, you can choose “prefer not to disclose my ethnicity” if you prefer. Once you have done this please tap “Next”.
The final screen will ask you to confirm your response. Please check it then tap on “Submit answers”.
Thank you for helping us keep your medical records accurate and up to date.