Patients' records, held in computerised form, are fully protected as required under statutory guidelines for patient confidentiality and data protection. Information from records is released only with the permission of the patient, although this may be assumed where a patient is being referred to another health professional. The NHS is currently developing a Centralised Patient Records system whereby information from their computerised records will be downloaded from the surgery to a central computer. The NHS has published specific guidance to patients wishing to opt out of this arrangement. Full details and the necessary application forms are available from reception.