What is image sharing?

Images like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are not routinely shared across NHS hospitals. This means that when you receive care at different hospitals, your doctor(s) at those hospitals may not have knowledge about, or access to, imaging that has already been performed.

Depending on your care needs, your doctor(s) may need imaging from another hospital, because they will want to ensure that they have as much relevant information about you and your condition as possible, to help them decide how best to plan your treatment.

When would my imaging information be shared?

Your images and reports will only be shared with an NHS hospital Trust when their clinical staff (doctors etc) start delivering part of your care.

What are the benefits of image sharing for me?

The ability to share images with other hospitals allows doctors to make informed decisions about your care. It also reduces your risk of unnecessary re-imaging and associated radiation exposure from X-rays or CT scans. Image sharing may improve your patient care in the following ways.

Outpatient appointments

Your imaging history and reports taken at other hospitals may be useful for the doctor who is going to review you. If this is the case, your imaging history and reports could be retrieved before you are due to have your outpatient appointment.

Review at multidisciplinary team meetings

There are times when the care you receive or decisions about the care you should receive need the expertise of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who you may not come into direct contact with. Examples of this are where patients have cancer, rare diseases or other uncommon medical conditions. A multidisciplinary team may need access to your imaging history and reports so they can review these to work out how best to treat you.

In an emergency

For emergency care, doctors at one hospital can make an emergency referral and share your images with the specialist team at another hospital to seek their advice on how best to treat you or as part of a transfer of your care.

What steps will be taken to protect my information?

Your information is only shared with NHS trusts which are delivering part of your care. All images and reports which are shared will be encrypted (sent in a secure format) before they are transferred electronically using secure NHS IT networks.

Can I restrict sharing of my images and reports via the Regional Image Sharing Platform (RISP)?

The images and reports available via RISP will only be accessible by the teams providing your care at the relevant trusts. However, if you have concerns and want to request to restrict the sharing of your images and reports please complete the RISP opt-out form. We will contact you to acknowledge your request and confirm when your request has been implemented.

If I have previously opted out of regional image sharing. How can I opt back in to sharing of my images and reports?

If you have previously opted out and wish to opt back in to sharing your images and reports via RISP, please complete the RISP opt-in form. We will contact you to acknowledge your request and confirm when your request has been implemented.

How do I find out more

If you need further information about the Regional Image Sharing Platform, please get in touch using our contact form.

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